Source: UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA submitted to
VEG DR: DEVELOPMENT OF SMART PHONE APPLICATIONS FOR IDENTIFICATION AND MANAGEMENT OF VEGETABLE DISEASES
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0229601
Grant No.
2012-41530-19778
Project No.
GEO-2012-02093
Proposal No.
2012-02093
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
QQ.S
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2012
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2015
Grant Year
2012
Project Director
Bargeron, C.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
200 D.W. BROOKS DR
ATHENS,GA 30602-5016
Performing Department
Entomology
Non Technical Summary
This is an extension project for $27,987 to be used over 3 years. It will leverage many of the tools and resources from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health including the Bugwood Image Database and Bugwood Wiki as well as the technical expertice of its staff. This project will provide a reuseable smart phone app framework that can be used to deliver IPM information to clientele. It will also provide real-time alerts to users of the app as the extension specialist for the commodity determiines there is a need to provide additional information. The framework will be designed and refined through the process of creating apps for disease management in cucurbit, solanaceous, and brasiccaceous vegetables. Producing both iPhone and Android versions will result in six apps. As they are released, the PIs wil use their existing rapport with stakeholders to encourage adoption of the app. Throughout the project, growers, extension agents, and crop consultants will be surveyed to better understand their use of the app and how it can be improved to better meet their needs and expectations. This approach will result in a robust framework that can be expanded to include other pests, better reflect the management practices in other portions of the region and reused in other commodities or other regions to rapidly deliver and update the IPM information needed by practitioners. This will provide tool for extension directly engage their clientele and foster the adoption of IPM practices.
Animal Health Component
50%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
50%
Developmental
50%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2121429116050%
2121469116050%
Goals / Objectives
Objective I: Development of a smart phone application for identification and management of diseases on cucurbit crops, including watermelon, cucumber, cantaloupe, squash, and pumpkin. Anticipated Impacts: *The smart phone app will be downloaded by growers, consultants, and Extension agents that are involved with production of cucurbit crops. *Use of the smart phone app will aid in identification of diseases of cucurbits. *The use of existing Extension publications will increase due to links provided in the smart phone app. *The smart phone app will resulting better communication regarding disease occurrence, issues with development of fungicide resistance, or other information pertinent to disease management. Objective II: Development of a smart phone application for identification and management of diseases on solanaceous crops, including pepper, tomato, and eggplant. Anticipated Impacts: *The smart phone app will be downloaded by growers, consultants, and Extension agents that are involved with production of solanaceous crops. *Use of the smart phone app will aid in identification of diseases of cucurbits. *The use of existing Extension publications will increase due to links provided in the smart phone app. *The smart phone app will resulting better communication regarding disease occurrence, issues with development of fungicide resistance, or other information pertinent to disease management.
Project Methods
Objective I: PI Brock will provide digital copies of the information needed for the cucurbit disease app. PI Bargeron and PI LaForest will work with the information to setup a reusable framework to support the content and prepare it for delivery via the app. The scheduled release for the app will be just prior to the 2013 field season. PIs Brock and Langston will present the app to growers to encourage use and gather feedback on its utility and function. They will also use the alert feature of the app to push information to users in an effort to give timely updates of disease concerns. The app will be updated during the remainder of the project as feedback is received or information becomes outdated. Objective II: PI Bargeron and PI LaForest will make changes to the app framework to reflect lessons learned during the creation of the cucurbit app. PI Brock will provide digital copies of the information needed for the solanaceous disease app. The scheduled release for the app will be just prior to the 2014 field season. As with the previous app, PIs Brock and Langston will present the app to growers and extension agents throughout the region to promote use and gather suggestions for improvement. They will use the alert functions of the apps to provide current information to farmers, agents, and consultants. Updates to the app will be delivered as the information is updated or functionality is changed based on feedback from users. Evaluation Plans. The evaluation of the outcomes and impacts of this project will be accomplished through three main tools: Website Metrics, App Usage Metrics and Surveys. App Usage Metrics: *Downloads of the apps from both the Apple Store and Android Market Place **This metric helps us determine the number of people willing to try the app. *Updates of the app **This metric helps us determine the number of people who continued use of the app. Survey Results: *Online Survey Results **After each season, online surveys will be developed to find out how effective the apps have been for different groups of clientele. Questions will focus on utility of the app, usefulness of the information, ease of use, applicability of in season recommendations/alerts, economic impact of following recommendations, useful components of the app, potential improvements to the app, management decisions influenced by use of the app, and usefulness of disease management guides. *In-person survey results **Since not all clientele have smartphones at the start of the project, in-person surveys will be used to determine their willingness to adopt technology, indicate what devices they are considering using, and how they currently use information technology as a farming tool. *App based survey results **At various points in the app, simple questions will be provided to assess the utility of a certain page or feature. Questions such as "Was this helpful" can begin to provide insight regarding what pages or features are most valued and which ones need improvement.

Progress 09/01/12 to 08/31/15

Outputs
Target Audience:The target audience was growers, consultants, and Extension agents that are involved with production of cucurbit and solanaceouscrops. Changes/Problems:The majority of issues came from a change of the collaborator responsible for providing the content and serving as the primary connection to the target audience. As David Langston left UGA and Bhabesh Dutta took over his responsibilities, we had a brief time with no vegetable extension specialist plant pathologist on the project and then a period of getting the new pathologist incorporated into the existing project. This delayed updating of cucurbit vegetable disease content, addition of solanaceous vegetable disease content, disrupted publicity effort with the smartphone app, and may have lead to the lack of response on attempts to gain feedback on the app.While this did not change what we attempted to do in the project, it did have an effect on the overall project success. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Nothing Reported How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?The project did announce the app at grower field days, county agent trainings, and in other extension presentations, but they were not the main focus of the presenation. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Content for VegDr was added to the Bugwood Image Recruitment and efficacy data interfaces. The most recent update of this content included the addition ofSolanaceous Crops (Tomato and Pepper) to the list of Cucurbits (Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Squash, and Watermellon).The smartphone app was initially populated with the content and released to both the Appleapp store and the Google Play app storein late 2014 with a new update being released at the conclusion of the grant. The interfaces for editing content of the app still exist and are maintained by the Bugwood Center, making future updates to the app possible. It was determined early in the project that one app for each platform covering all the included crops was more efficient thanindividual apps for each platform with one for each crop. Since it's release, the app has been downloaded1,881 times on Android and 221 times on iOS. Users updated the app210 times on android and 72 times on iOS indicating that the app was still on their phone at time of the last update. While a significant number of users were in the United States (396), the app was downloaded significantly in India (500) and Brazil (102). Despite the large number of initial downloads from other countries, most updates of the app came from the United States (100) with few updates in India (32) or Brazil (6). Attempts were made to conduct a survey of the target audience for this app in Georgia, however, even with the new plant pathology extension specialist asking people to participate, we were unable to get a representative sample as few growers, extension agents, and consultantswere willing to take the time needed to provide feedback. What little response was received indicated that the information provided in the app was all important with images being a extremely important. If the app were to expand, information on insect control to compliment the disease information would be most important followed by weed management information, pest forcast reports & management alerts, and the ability to directly contact their county agent. These no-representative responses do match informal feedback that the extension specialist has received in conversations with the target audience.

Publications

  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Bargeron, C.T., J.H. LaForest, J.Brock, D.B. Langston & T.J. Daniel, B. Dutta. (2015). VegDr iPhone App. (Version 2.0) [Mobile application software]. Available at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vegdr/id799532649?mt=8
  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Bargeron, C.T., J.H. LaForest, J. Brock, D.B. Langston & R.L. David, B. Dutta. (2015). VegDr Android App. (Version 2.0) [Mobile application software]. Available at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bugwood.vegetabledoctor