Brassica growers will be able to receive alerts of high disease pressure directly to their mobile phone this season, following the launch of a free service from Syngenta.

The Brassica Disease Warning System uses spore trapping and disease monitoring information from the Lincs-based Allium & Brassica Centre, combined with in-field weather data and a predictive model developed by HRI Warwick.

It will provide a risk assessment for Alternaria, White Blister and Ringspot, based on field traps across Lincolnshire, the northeast and south east, Syngenta said.

“Advance warning of disease enables better timing of protective fungicides and the opportunity to produce the highest quality brassicas,” commented Andy Richardson of the Allium & Brassica Centre.

The service will also help justify spray programmes, he said.

The free SMS service is planned to go live in June and Syngenta also hopes to provide the information by email and fax if required. Growers can register in advance by visiting www.syngenta-crop.co.uk