Decision-Support Tool Using HiperGator May Help Manage Devastating Avocado Disease (Growing America)

Decision-Support Tool Using HiperGator May Help Manage Devastating Avocado Disease

UF/IFAS researchers are working on a decision-support app to help policymakers and growers decide the best regional treatment options for laurel wilt disease, which is challenging Florida’s $35 million-a-year avocado crop.

Laurel wilt disease is spread by several ambrosia beetle vectors. People, whether they grow avocados or not, can spread the beetles when they move infested wood products – for example, firewood and wood-turner wood — UF/IFAS researchers say. UF/IFAS researchers are trying to get all this spreading under control.

To help develop the app, scientists are using the HiPerGator, a supercomputer on the main University of Florida campus in Gainesville, to analyze massive amounts of data. 

“In the next steps for the project, we plan to integrate satellite image analysis and disease recognition to support decision makers considering the best management strategies,” said Karen Garrett, a UF/IFAS professor. “The computational demands of the machine-learning tools in this project will benefit from the new HiPerGator resources.”

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