The Union of Ostrobothnian Swedish-speaking Growers in Finland (ÖSP) contributes to research in greenhouses to support growers. One of the projects owned by ÖSP focuses on whitefly management. To map the amount and distribution of the whitefly the researchers use different parameters, including light, air, and leaf temperature. All this data is collected through the IPM module in MyLetsGrow. This provides clear dashboards and heatmaps, enabling the ÖSP’s researchers to better advise the growers on the amount of crop protection needed in the greenhouse.
ÖSP’s story and choice for LetsGrow.com
ÖSP is a growers’ union that lobbies for the interests of primary producers, including support to research activities. One of the projects focuses on developing integrated pest management (IPM) of whiteflies in year-round tomatoes. Tomatoes are a common crop in the Ostrobothnian greenhouse cluster of about 125 greenhouse companies. Environmentally friendly IPM methods are used to prevent problems and reduce or even avoid intensive control activities.
We talked to Sandra and Irene, two researchers working for the ÖSP’s whitefly project. Irene is also working part-time for Luke, which is the Natural Resources Institute in Finland in the project. The researchers try to map the spread and development of the whitefly using different parameters such as temperature, humidity, and the number of whiteflies as determined by yellow sticky traps and leaf samples. According to Irene, the leaf temperature is “very relevant for the research because it influences the development of the larvae. We must understand the correlation between leaf and air temperature to be able to map the development time of the whitefly”.
In short, there is a lot of data to be analyzed, but the growers also need real-time information on what to do with the pest. Because of this, the project’s researchers started looking for organizations that offer the possibility to store all the data to be able to analyze it at a glance. After some market research, they came up with LetsGrow.com. The IPM module in particular seemed to fit their strategy very well because it offers the possibility to digitize registration results.
Better advice thanks to the LetsGrow.com platform
Thanks to the LetsGrow.com data platform, ÖSP’s researchers have all of the data from the greenhouses in one place, clearly and concisely. This data can also be analyzed more easily thanks to the Dashboards. ”Thanks to LetsGrow.com we can be better researchers. For example, we advise growers to use a natural enemy to fight or prevent a pest attack. With the data and heatmaps from LetsGrow.com we can also visually demonstrate why we are giving certain advice to the growers and we can show them the consequences of a certain action. The data and visualizations from LetsGrow.com thus strengthen our research as well as the advice to the grower”, says Sandra.
MyLetsGrow provides clear dashboards and heatmaps, enabling the ÖSP’s researchers to better advise the growers on the amount of crop protection needed in the greenhouse.
A tool from LetsGrow.com that has been really helpful for the ÖSP’s researchers and has been an important reason for them starting to use the LetsGrow.com platform in the first place is the heatmaps. “For research purposes, we use the heatmaps to study how many yellow sticky traps are optimal to use for monitoring whiteflies. The heatmaps have been really helpful in demonstrating the optimal number of traps to growers and advisors”, Irene explains.
Smooth implementation process
In April 2021 the LetsGrow.com data platform was integrated into the two greenhouses in which ÖSP is conducting research. The implementation of the data platform went well and smoothly. “The use of the platform and the interpretation of the data all went pretty smoothly. During the implementation of the data platform in the first greenhouse, Kim (Helderman, Sales Manager at LetsGrow.com) showed us how to use the platform. In addition, she answered all our questions. Everything went very smoothly and with great communication”, Sandra shares.