RedStar places trust in Natutec Scout

RedStar places trust in Natutec Scout

In the past year, Koppert has greatly improved the Natutec Scout app. The new version was tested by RedStar — the Netherlands' largest producer of exclusive taste tomatoes and snack tomatoes. The company is very satisfied with it. ‘We don't really need to scouting for whitefly any more. You photograph the sticky traps, and this immediately tells you how the level of infestation is developing.’

At RedStar, Jan van Nieuwkerk is responsible for plant protection at the company's six locations in Voorne-Putten. In total, this amounts to a 28-hectare area. Jan has used the Natutec Scout app since its market launch. Last year, Koppert asked him to test a number of improvements and report back on his findings.

The scan function made more powerful

This testing is ongoing at RedStar, but Jan now has a clear conclusion about the new version: it is a significant improvement. First of all, the scanning function was made much more powerful, he says. ‘In the past, when the sticky traps were read for whitefly, the results were sometimes too high or too low. That’s now a thing of the past. Thanks to a higher resolution, the device scans much more accurately. Whitefly is now very accurately recognized. I now have more trust in the result.’

From Jan’s point of view, it is not even about the exact number of whitefly stuck on the sticky traps. ‘No,’ he says, ‘I am more interested in seeing the trend. Is the level of whitefly infestation staying the same or is it going up or down? I want to see that at a glance. If there is an increasing level of infestation, I can then quickly take the right measures.’

Although he still keeps an eye on the level of whitefly eggs laid, Jan says scouting for whitefly is no longer necessary. We photograph the sticky traps and immediately see how the level of infestation is developing.’

A lot of time saved

This trend in level of infestation pressure is now visible in easy-to-understand graphs. ‘It's about that line. Is it going up? Down? Or is it staying the same? That's what I want to see,’ says Jan. ‘In addition, our scouts and I save an enormous amount of time compared with the former manual counting. Moreover, we can easily record our findings and quickly share them with each other or with the consultant. That also saves time.’

The Natutec Scout app can also be used to monitor other pests. Koppert is working on making it possible to scan and recognize them. ‘We can already enter our counts. The map or graphs then show how the level of infestation is developing. This function has also been made faster and better.’

Lower chance of errors

Lastly, the ease of use has been improved. Jan says the following on that: ‘I load the app, the map appears on the screen, and I can immediately see what whitefly or other pest is doing. If necessary, I can take immediate action.’

According to Jan van Nieuwkerk, the Natutec Scout app is an excellent tool for people with and without experience in biological plant protection. ‘On an entertaining note: I had to learn to trust the improved version of the app. After all, the software no longer makes mistakes, while I or others still can. The app is very reliable, the chance of mistakes in biological plant protection is now much smaller. We have tested the app extensively and plan to use it in all our locations here at Voorne-Putten.’

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