Many diseases that infect and devastate crops are due to spores that are deposited in field by air currents. These diseases are often difficult to identify until it's too late to effectively prevent them.
A simple, low tech, and cost-effective warning system may be achieved through the use of commercially available, passive air filtering spore traps. When positioned around the field, the funnel directs air through the cartridge which catches the airborne fungal spores.
The cartridges are sent to a lab where they are analyzed for the presence of several pathogens. This can be used as an early warning system and allow farmers to be proactive and make decisions that are both economically and ecologically beneficial.
Lewis Baarda Farming Smarter
CAP (50%), Farming Smarter (21.9%), 20/20 Seed Labs (28.1%)
- Numbers are approximate ≥ the 50% industry contribution is shared mostly between Farming Smarter and 20/20 seed labs
- Spornado has provided some spornado samplers, cassettes, and parts for the project.
- 20/20 seed labs is contributing all required testing costs to the project.
To determine optimal location within a field for spore trap placement.
To determine the number of traps required in a field.
To correlate spore testing results with weather conditions and disease incidence.
Share experiences through Farming Smarter Extension (KTT) Program.
To evaluate the Spornado passive spore trap as a decision support tool for managing crop pathogens including leaf/stem rust and fusarium head blight in wheat and sclerotinia/white mold in canola and dry beans.
Six Irrigated Fields
Two Dry Bean
Spore Trap Locations
High risk area - low spot or previously known area of infection
Normal risk area - medium elevation and flat
Check - Field Edge
Wheat ≥ at jointing
Canola ≥ at bolting
Dry Bean ≥ at budding
puccinia striiformis (stripe rust)
fusarium graminearum (fusarium head blight)
sclerotinia sclerotiorum (sclerotinia/white mold)
Cropping, disease history for previous three years
Install hobo stations at each location to measure precipitation, humidity, temp, wind
Plant stands at spore trap
Growth stage at two-week intervals
Spore trap installation based on previously mentioned locations
Laboratory analysis of cartridges via 20/20 Seed Labs Inc.
Disease ratings at traps 10 plants for 6 ratings during filter changes
1m^2 biomass and yield at trap locations
Grain quality analysis for samples