The iMapPESTS program aims to rapidly monitor and report the presence of priority pests and diseases to aid in on-farm decision making across all plant industries of Australia. The five-year program is being led by Hort Innovation, with funding from the Australian Government, as well as 16 partner organisations from across the plant industry research and development corporations (RDCs), and leading research organisations in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

The project team behind iMapPESTS recently gathered to celebrate a major milestone for the project – a sneak preview of the custom-built ‘sentinel’ prototype mobile surveillance unit. Program partners involved in the R&D initiative, including representatives from the Department of Agriculture and all plant-industry RDCs, gathered in McLaren Vale to discuss updates and progress on the R&D supported by their investments. Attendees were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the sentinel and how it will operate from SARDI researcher Dr Rohan Kimber.

The prototype sentinel is the first of eight units expected to be constructed over the lifetime of the program. These units will be deployed across Australia, with the prototype launching to industry at South Australia’s premier agronomic cropping trials field site, Hart, on 17 September 2019. For more information about the Hart field day, please click here.