The Automation of Agricultural Pest Control

Agricultural pest control has long been conducted using pesticide sprays, dusting the crops to kill insects and leaving potentially harmful residues. In an effort to adopt more sustainable, least toxic pest management practices, many growers are seeking alternatives, including pheromone-based pest control which uses the pests’ own communication methods to prevent damage to the fruit.

Semios is the developer of precision pest management technologies based on a robust wireless network developed exclusively for agricultural environments. The Semios system empowers growers by combining real-time pest monitoring and data with automated pheromone deployment for optimal control and enhanced Integrated Pest Management capabilities.

The Semios Machine to Machine (M2M) solution offers industry standard pest control together with an extensive sensor network that saves growers money on their conventional spray program. The M2M solution includes a network of remote nodes deployed across the crop, including pheromone dispensers, camera-enabled pest traps, on-field weather station and other data sensors all wirelessly connected to a central gateway. When activated, the solar-powered gateway provides raw data to a cloud database, where it is stored, analyzed, and provided to the grower as valuable information on their stationery and mobile devices. Using the Semios graphical user interface, the grower and their network of crop consultants or cooperatives can observe real-time activity and threats. With this intelligence literally in the palms of their hands, they can make improved crop management decisions and take immediate pest control action, such as the targeted, limited release of pheromones. 

Although growers are thoroughly familiar with conventional pesticides, many are quite willing to avoid “spraying” wherever they can. Perhaps more so than the general public, growers are directly in the line of fire when it comes to pesticide exposure and they certainly worry about the environmental impacts resulting from the use of chemical controls. It is not a surprise that many growers who have collaborated in Semios’ field trial program in 2012 and 2013 are very interested in adopting the Semios system. In Ontario, for example, one apple grower with nearly 500 acres has recently made the conscious decision to adopt pheromone pest control only with the support of Semios’ information-based decision tools.

With close to 100 trials completed, the system has demonstrated pest management on par or better than conventional treatments. In addition to technical versatility and economic advantages, the system can be implemented with negligible environmental impact, saving appreciable impact of chemical spraying and their resultant impacts on farm safety, soil, air and water contamination. 

Semios Partnership with Arrow

Semios has partnered with Arrow from its early development stage and through the initial field deployments. The two companies continue to work on turn-key solutions to deliver the most robust, efficient and cost-effective technologies for the agricultural industry. “Arrow has proven to be more than just a supplier of electronic components,” said Dr. Michael Gilbert, Founder and CEO of Semios. “With their product development expertise and broad logistics network, Arrow is a partner that will assist Semios to scale quickly and worldwide.”

Company Profile - Semios

Founded in 2010, Vancouver-based Semios (SemiosBIO Technologies Inc.) has established offices and operations in British Columbia, Southern Ontario and in the EU (based in the Netherlands). With pheromone pest control as its founding interest, the company is now focused on delivering real-time information and precision pest management tools for agriculture. In 2014, Semios will be deploying its technologies on more than 150 sites, covering approximately 20,000 acres, across Canada, the US, the EU and South America. 

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