Mar 11, 2021
UV technology highlighted as an alternative to pesticides
Stephen Kloosterman

The USDA recently showcased a new technology for killing disease and some pests with ultraviolet or UV light.

The USDA Tellus video on YouTube features USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists Fumiomi Takeda and Wojciech Janisiewicz discussing the project, called PhylloLux Technology. The two are based at the USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station in West Virginia.

Janisiewicz said the project could be useful for growing fruit free of synthetic chemical residues.

The project has application for strawberries, and the scientists are looking into robotics as a means to deliver nighttime applications of UV light, according to the presentation.

“We anticipate within a couple years of testing, this would be available to growers,” Janisiewicz said.

One commenter on the YouTube video wondered how PhylloLux would stack up against bug vacuums that are currently used for organic strawberry production in California.

Stephen Kloosterman is the managing editor of Organic Grower.
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