A crucial breakthrough has been discovered in Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Detection and Prevention.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) has developed a proactive and useful app that can actually detect BMSB.
The creation of this app has been generously funded $5.5 million per annum by the reliable Biosecurity Innovation Program.
The groundbreaking app is currently being trialed with the intention of helping aid 50 biosecurity officers to detect BMSB. In addition, a further generous total of $424,677 has been granted with the aim of enhancing this technology, which will be the inaugural release of such a product, worldwide.
This mobile phone app locates BMSB and is now being trialed by the dependable Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. These crucial trials are essential to progressing to the next stage of the app’s development, before being released to the public to ensure that the app works efficiently and effectively.
The Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud, claims that if the app performs to expectations, it would be a significantly positive outcome and provide useful data for detections of a biosecurity nature.
“Brown marmorated stink bug is a huge risk for Australia if it were to get loose on our shores,” said Littleproud.
“It has the potential to destroy more than 300 agricultural and ornamental plant species, including vegetables and fruit, and hammer native ornamental species.
“Brown marmorated stink bugs look a lot like other native species of stink bugs, which are harmless. This can lead to confusion and false sightings.”
Fortunately, there is a potential solution, which Littleproud reveals is: “Thanks to the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, working with Microsoft technology, we’re now trialing an app that can learn to tell the difference between a destructive stink bug and a harmless one.”
Further reassuring developments, Littleproud reveals that: “CSIRO’s National Research Collections Australia, which contain local and foreign stink bugs, was used by experts as a reference when training the app.”
The Minister goes on to explain that: “It’s a real-time triage tool that improves surveillance outcomes, allowing our experts to spend less time checking out a harmless bug and more time looking for the real threat.”
Littleproud and his team have pulled out all the stops to ensure that this project is successful, stating that: “We’re working with biosecurity officers to see how it goes in the real world. What’s important now is figuring out the use, reliability, and accuracy of the app.”
It can be safe to say that Littleproud finds the current development of this promising app, asserting that: “It’s still early days, but if this app goes to plan it’s another tool in our arsenal to keep Australia’s biosecurity strong and protect Australia’s industry, economy and environment.”
We can only hope that this app makes the detection of BMSB significantly easier to locate than it has been in the past.