Help us develop a smart app for the management of wheat pests

ADAS have recently started working on a Defra/UKRI Farming Innovations Pathway research project in collaboration with Sheffield University and Mutus Tech Ltd. The aim of this project is to develop a “smart app” to help farmers with the identification and treatment of invertebrate pests in wheat crops.

We envisage that the final product will be able to:

  • Detect invertebrates in or on the crop canopy from photographs;
  • Determine whether the invertebrates present in the image are one of the specified pests (detailed below);
    • Contextual information such as crop growth stage, pest distribution, the period of “pest risk”, geographical location, will be automatically input into the app to maximise identification accuracy and risk determination
  • Count the number of pests in the image and equate this to economic thresholds;
  • Where thresholds are exceeded, provide the user with management advice
    • Contextual information such as crop growth stage, geographical location, and meteorological data will help advise on management options

Targeted pests

The focal pests will include:

  • Aphids, winter: The grain aphid, the bird cherry-oat aphid
  • Aphids, summer: The grain aphid, the rose-grain aphid
  • Wheat bulb fly
  • Slugs
  • Orange wheat blossom midge
  • Wireworm
  • Leatherjackets
  • Frit fly
  • Gout fly

User survey

We want to make sure that the final product works for the eventual users. So, we are conducting an end-user survey to make sure that the app meets the requirements needed by farmers and agronomists. If you would be willing to complete the end-user survey you can find the short survey at one of the following links:

These should take no longer than five minutes, and the data provided will help us produce an app that works for farmers and agronomists! For further information on this project, please contact: [email protected]. Additional project information can be found on the project website at:

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Wheat is the most widly grown crop in the UK. Nationally yields average around 8 t/ha/