NZ: Update to online myrtle rust tool, giving growers specific spray information

The latest myrtle rust update to the online NZPPI Weather and Plant Disease Management Platform is the first of its kind in New Zealand.

HortPlus and Plant & Food Research have upgraded the Myrtle Rust Climate Model with new modeling that gives growers real-time spray management advice based on the actual sprays they use in their nursery.

The earlier version didn’t allow for specific spray information, so modeling was based on average spray responses combined with MetWatch weather data. The new update is based on the actual active ingredients being used at each nursery, so the spray management advice is much more precise.

Growers go into the Disease/ Myrtle Rust Cumulative Risk section of the online tool, and from the ‘Add Spray’ dropdown menu, select the chemical sprays used in their nursery. The interactive tool will then advise in graph form of the ideal spray periods based on the selected sprays and local weather conditions (wind, rainfall, chill factor, humidity, etc.). The spray routine will differ depending on the spray they have chosen.

The customized tool is the result of a collaboration between New Zealand Plant Producers (NZPPI), HortPlus, and Plant & Food Research to improve disease management outcomes for growers and for New Zealand as a whole. Trials and further development of the platform will continue and, over time, will include other disease climate models, such as those affecting fruit and vegetable growers.

The platform and myrtle rust model is free for NZPPI members and, thanks to MPI funding, are free for other users until December 2023.

For more information:
New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated 

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