“Could Drones Help Protect Apple Orchards From Disease?”

Strangest use for drones everThis recent tweet by Huffington Post (right)  caught my eye. I was surprised to find out it was a story about plant pathology research led by alumni Kirk Broders (PhD Ohio State, Plant Pathology) and his PhD student, Matthew Wallhead (BS and MS, Ohio State, Plant Pathology), now at the University of New Hampshire.

Broders and Wallhead are developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – AKA drone – to scout orchards for a serious disease, apple scab. Broders hopes to develop a smaller, more affordable device to detect diseases and other problems.

The development of aerial devices in plant disease management isn’t entirely new, but this particularly story is getting a lot of attention in the press. On our Plant Pathology Facebook page, it is by far our most popular post in recent months.  Although Broders and Wallhead are careful not refer to their device as a drone, it’s certainly hooked a lot of people.

Drone, unmanned aerial vehicle, remote control imaging device.  In the world of Twitter and newsfeeds, headlines do matter.  I hope you’ll click through on the link and learn a little bit about what the work of plant pathology. Now that’s what really matters!
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