GrowerIQ will assist in the development of the sensing algorithm and provide an evaluation opportunity through trial deployment across a select group of cannabis clients. Dr. Kasal-Slavik will provide plant science knowledge to identify detected compounds.
This represents the world's first cannabis organic compound sensor, creating an early warning system to prevent crop loss.
GrowerIQ COO Andrew Wilson stated, "The commercial impact of this early warning system cannot be overstated. Pest and mould or mildew infestations regularly impact crops. Waiting until the infestation is large enough to notice is too late. These crop loss events are very expensive."
According to Master Grower Shlomo Booklin, "Due to the crop's medicinal nature, we are restricted in chemical use. Early detection is critical, since this cuts pesticide use dramatically. We want to address issues before uncontrolled infestations! That's why Dr. Tina's technology is a game-changer."
For Dr. Kasal-Slavik, possible applications are endless, "This method can be applied to different plant species in very early stages of stress. It has the potential to lead to pesticide-free greenhouse plant production."
Plants under duress communicate by sending/receiving specific chemicals. These messages contain clues about both attackers and severity. Minutes after an aphid attack, a host-plant releases a multipurpose chemical message alerting other organisms that it's being fed upon. If picked up by neighbouring plants, this message is interpreted as a warning to prepare. If received by a predatory ladybug, it's interpreted as a ringing dinner bell to a nearby aphid feast.
Dr. Kasal-Slavik discovered we can decode these messages to gain insight. It's possible to evaluate plant health before any obvious visual symptoms of attack. This can be used to build an early warning system, alerting growers to infected plants.
These sensors will be integrated into GrowerIQ's platform, adding more tools to the cultivator's toolbox.