15 September 1995

High-tech help in the blight war

BLIGHT control could be made more effective by a new computerised service from Dutch firm Dacom.

The companys Plant-Plus service recommends spray dates and product choice according to disease risk, crop growth and – unlike other systems – the speed of degradation of the previous spray application.

"Its no use using a routine programme if the weather has quickly degraded your previous spray, encouraged rapid crop growth and favoured blight," comments the companys Peter Raatjes. "Under those conditions you need to know that a protectant is going to be too late and a curative product is needed instead."

The service is proving popular – 100 growers accounting for 1000ha (2500 acres) used it this year. Better blight control, cost savings and a better environmental image are claimed results.

Cost is £1136 for registration and then £340-£450 a year. Plans are afoot to introduce it in the UK.

Peter Raatjes: high tech blight control is a reality for Dutch farmers.