Computer program aids insect tracking, management

03/13/2012 12:32:00 PM
The Grower Staff

screen shot of MyTraps.comCourtesy of Spensa TechnologiesMyTraps.com, an online computer program, allows users to map and track insect populations in just about any crop.Spensa Technologies Inc. of West Lafayette, Ind., has launched a new online application that allows growers and consultants to electronically track insects in their fields to improve pest management.

Users visit MyTraps.com and enter insect data and pesticide records on the secure website using a Web browser or smart phone, according to a news release.

Once the information is input, the program will create insect population graphs.

The program also provides satellite field images over which the insect data is placed.

Not only can insect data from just about any crop be entered, but the program will store the information so users can view trends or field histories.

"Most of the time, data is collected on sheets of paper by walking around the fields and checking insect traps," Johnny Park, president and chief executive officer of Spensa, said in the release. "MyTraps.com provides tools to make the insect data collection easier and to make better pest management decisions."

Park also is a research assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

MyTraps.com is available by subscription.

Spensa also is developing the electronic Z-Trap, which automatically detects the number of target insects caught and transmits the data to computers or cell phones.

This season, the company will have 75 prototype traps in large-scale field trials.

The traps will be used to collect data on codling moths, Oriental fruit moths and leafrollers in apple orchards.

The firm hopes to launch the traps commercially in 2013, according to the release.

It also plans to develop the traps to detect other types of insect pests.

Read related article in The Grower: Iffy labor supply drives development of labor-saving equipment



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