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New app protects cotton crops

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Artificial intelligence to help cotton farmers stop a major pest from flying under the radar has been introduced, via a research project led by the University of Southern Queensland.

Virtually impossible to identify and count with the naked eye, the Silverleaf Whitefly has increased in prevalence in recent years, greatly reducing the end value of crops, due to their sticky honeydew excretions contaminating cotton lint and preventing it from being processed.

To make recognition easier, USQ research doctors Alison McCarthy and Derek Long, along with the State Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, are developing a new AI smart-phone App, with funding from the Cotton Research and Development Corporation.