In grape farms, the measure of leaf-surface wetness is a crucial indicator of a possible rot or pest infestation. For many years, farmers have been aware of the connection between leaf-wetness and crop diseases; manual observation of leaf wetness has been used to predict these diseases, however this is susceptible to human error. Forecasting the disease in time allows for preemptive action. On the other extreme, farmers often use pesticide on a slight indication of dew. Precise monitoring of leaf wetness will help farmers to use adequate amount of pesticide, in time, reducing environmental damage and production costs for farmers.
Leaf wetness devices are available in existing multi purpose weather loggers. However, in the Indian context, where land distribution is quite uneven and land area per owner is small it is unaffordable for many Indian farmers. Leaf wetness duration sensor system (LWDSS) is developed as a low cost standalone handy device for farmers which will help them to predict diseases. The device also allows for a more equitable playing field. The long standing experience of older farmers in manual observation and prediction of diseases, makes it difficult for new farmers to enter the market. This device would allow newer farmers to compete on an equal footing.
This technology is developed under the demand 'Grape growers association of Maharashtra'. It is a simple device to log, store and display leaf wetness duration.
Prototypes have been developed and are being tested at Vigyan Ashram.View Project Files