Powdery app

PMapp, a mobile application allowing grape growers and winemakers to easily assess powdery mildew in field has been released globally.

Developed by the University of Adelaide in close collaboration with the Australian grape and wine sector, and supported by Wine Australia, powdery mildew can be assessed in the vineyard as the percentage surface area of grape bunches affected, which gives a measure of disease severity. The app allows the user to visually assess the severity by matching it with computer-generated images.

Powdery mildew is a serious, and costly, disease that affects grapevines worldwide and can be hard to assess.  Assessors are able to enter disease data quickly in the vineyard, email the results and then analyse the resulting spreadsheet, which records GPS coordinates and other details of the assessment.

 A local version of PMapp was released in Australia in December 2015 and proved its worth for the grape and wine community during the 2016 Australian vintage.  A whole suite of online resources is available to support PMapp. They can be used to train or up-skill wine sector personnel and students to recognise powdery mildew symptoms and estimate disease severity.

Ian Macrae, CCW Viticulture Officer said, “Although PMapp was developed for assessing the severity of powdery mildew, we used the app for bunch rot assessment as well.  Accurate assessment of severity is required when the patch is facing possible rejection.  PMapp was a great tool in making decisions acceptable to both grower and winery.”

Watch the video to remind yourself what powdery mildew looks like

If all this ‘app talk’ is beyond you but you’d like not to feel so left out email Kate at Riverland Wine and we’ll see if we can arrange a tutorial to help you understand just how necessary apps are for everyone these days… not just those under 25.  They’re a bit like mobile phones.  There was a time when members would stubbornly insist… ’Ring the home phone or send me a fax’.  Try and think of someone these days who is still resisting the mobile phone.  Apps are easy and can save an awful lot of time and frustration.

PMapp is now available for download on Apple’s App Store or Google Play.   Online resources can be found at pmassessment.com.au.


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