A new digital service has been designed to help growers and agronomists predict the likelihood of pest and disease outbreaks on their farm.

CropMonitor Pro, from CHAP (Crop Health and Protection), is an extension of the Defra-funded, long-standing regional risk evaluation service Crop Monitor, first launched in 2003 by Fera Science. The Pro version is a significant advancement on that service by providing field-level risk prediction for a range of pests and diseases affecting winter wheat, winter oilseed rape and potatoes.

Its decision support service is a collaboration between CHAP and Fera and has been in development since 2017 – and funded by IUK as part of the UK agri-tech strategy.

Analytical tools are becoming increasingly popular for growers, with retailers, agrochemical companies and government all looking to better predict the risk of pest and disease outbreaks to mitigate against supply chain shortages, predict sales and encourage environmental stewardship.

For the grower, a better understanding of the level of pest and disease risk can ensure pesticides are only applied when required, said a spokesman for CHAP. “This will not only offer immediate savings on both chemical applications and operational expenditure, but will also reduce the threat of resistance against an increasingly limited arsenal of available crop protection products,” he added.