The Government of Canada is investing nearly a million dollars ($949,322) in a project to develop wireless technology that’s capable of predicting diseases that affect farm output.
This investment with Vancouver-based SemiosBio Technologies Inc. is expected to provide farmers with real-time localized information to better manage plant diseases and optimize the use of pesticides. This project will focus specifically on fire blight in apples, and downy and powdery mildews in grapes, with field testing in locations across the country.
SemiosBio is a company that provides safe and environmentally-friendly pest management solutions to growers of tree fruits, nuts and grapes. The company has already developed a sensor and pest management system for codling moths in apples, with support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
This current investment is being made through the Growing Forward 2, AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698 million initiative.
“The government is pleased to support this innovative project that will help the sector adopt fully integrated pest management systems. Initiatives such as these help farmers continue to be good stewards of the land, while maintaining their competitiveness,” says Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
“The agriculture industry is under tremendous pressure to produce more food with less environmental impact. To do this we need to optimize inputs such as insecticides, fungicides and water. Leveraging a proprietary internet-of-things (IoT) wireless network of 50,000 sensors and big data analytics, Semios delivers a precision ag service to measure and manage disease risks with less chemical inputs. With the financial support from AAFC, Semios will help growers better understand and predict crop disease, with focused treatments when and where needed,” adds Michael Gilbert, CEO of SemiosBIO.