Plant Problems: How to Help Wilting Plants With Tech

Pappi Hex

Plants endure stress in many ways, wilting being one of them. And if plants are wilting for too long without treatment, they eventually die. To battle this issue, it’s critical to detect wilting at the early stage, understand its cause, and act accordingly to protect and treat the plant. Luckily, today’s technology caters to agriculture in a variety of ways, including advanced plants’ health monitoring, allowing for timely detection of any issues.

Why Plants Are Wilting

Wilting is externally manifested in the drooping of leaves, stems, and other plant organs. In most cases, it is associated with the loss of turgor pressure of cells and tissues due to lack of water. The reason for this may also be the blockage of plant vessels by pathogens or damage done to them by toxins. Often, the plants wilt when the roots and stems are affected by both pathogens and pests. The cause of wilting could also be adverse environmental factors.

In practical work, plant diseases are usually classified according to crops or their closely related groups. Within each culture, diseases are subdivided according to the etiological principle, based on the causes of their occurrence.

First of all, plant diseases are divided into two large groups: non-infectious and infectious. Non-infectious diseases are caused by unfavorable environmental factors: abnormal temperature, lack or excess of moisture and nutrients, unsatisfactory soil health, the presence of harmful impurities in the air, etc.

Infectious diseases occur under the influence of pathogenic organisms or biotic factors. Depending on the pathogens, they are divided into fungal, bacterial, viral, as well as diseases caused by parasitic flowering plants and nematodes.

Manifestations of each disease are very different, which greatly complicates their detection. Completely different diseases can have similar external signs and, conversely, the same disease manifests itself differently depending on the affected organs, environmental conditions, the stages of development of the affected plant, etc.

Overall, an effective battle against plant's wilting starts with its timely detection. And that is where modern tech comes into play.

Wilting Plants Monitoring

The rise of digital agriculture and related technologies has opened up many new opportunities for working with data. Remote sensors, satellites, autonomous robotics, unmanned systems, and remote sensing systems can collect information 24 hours a day in different weather conditions. They are able to control the condition of plants and soil, temperature, humidity, irrigation regularity, and ensure the implementation of a number of other tasks, the implementation of which is still entrusted to humans.

The idea, in fact, is to allow agro-sector workers to better understand the situation on the ground with the help of advanced technologies that can tell them more about the situation on the farm, because many factors are still out of their sight.

Drones are one of the most popular and widely available smart devices making big strides in the agro arena. Unmanned aerial vehicle technologies are actively developing and acquiring new applications that provide a wider range of options necessary for high-quality and productive work in the fields. Flying right over the field below the clouds they can instantly collect information on plants health, including wilting detection.

Another tech solution is automated irrigation systems used to constantly maintain the required soil moisture conditions in order to prevent overapplication, water stress, and flooding, which may cause wilting. In addition, irrigation systems are essential for optimizing and accounting for freshwater consumption statistics. Many scientists believe that these technologies will subsequently have a global impact on the processes of world water supply.

Conventional crop health monitoring methods are incredibly time-consuming. Many technology companies have been working for years to develop intelligent systems that can monitor, detect, and analyze a variety of data collected in the fields in order to study the status and feasibility of growing certain types of crops.

One of the most effective technologies in this sphere is satellite imagery analytics. Modern farm management software that leverages Earth images analysis with AI algorithms provide farmers around the world with information about the distribution of crops and the impact of weather changes on agriculture. Besides, it gives access to information on crop health regularly by offering vegetation indices measurement. Such indices, including NDVI, give growers an understanding of plants' health in each part of the field remotely. Detecting low vegetation on the app, farmers can send scouts to the specific field zone for inspection and issue cause identification to plan further actions.

Diagnose with App

Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne developed a new mobile application in 2017 that uses artificial intelligence to diagnose crop diseases in the field. The mobile application called PlantVillage runs on a regular smartphone and is able to accurately diagnose plant diseases offline, without the Internet connection. The app also provides recommendations for the control of major diseases and pests in root crops, tubers, and bananas, and pinpoints the location of the nearest agricultural support for farmers.


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