Brazilian agtech company Tarvos developed smart stations for monitoring caterpillar infestation in crops such as soybean, corn and cotton. Tests on 23 farms show input savings and loss prevention.
The first commercial test of the Tarvos LD system took place in 50,000 hectares of soybean and cotton on 23 farms in Mato Grosso and Bahia states in Brazil.
“Our system helps producers to find the best application window and thus improve efficiency”, said Andrei Grespan, co-founder of Tarvos.
According to him, the results show savings of at least 20% in pesticide use against caterpillars (Spodoptera frugiperda) in crops. Tarvos plans to cover 200,000 hectares in the season 2021/2022.
The Tarvos LD monitoring system is equipped with cameras that monitor moth infestations (the adult stage of the caterpillar) 24 hours per day.
The station itself processes the camera images using Tarvos View software, which uses artificial intelligence to count and classify insects. The results are sent via satellite to a web platform every morning. A network of satellites makes data available throughout Latin America. Farmers can access the data via cell phone or tablet. According to Tarvos, up to 70% less field visits are necessary.
The technology is able to monitor caterpillar species such as Spodoptera, which is responsible for US$ 4 billion in losses in corn in Brazil per year. Helicoverpa armigera and Chrysodeixis includens can also be monitored. These species cause annual losses of US$ 5 billion in crops worldwide.
Tarvos states monitoring is one of the most important pillars of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), since knowing the levels of infestation determines how succesfully crops can be protected.
“Applying pesticides at the right time gives farmers more choice in pesticides, increases the effectiveness of control and reduces costs. Therefore, IPM requires accurate and quick determination of pest populations in the field”, said Andrei Grespan.