Ahead of what could be another severe wildlife season, a new tool uses air quality and atmospheric data to give farmers up-to-the-minute information to monitor risks to their crops.

The chemical and crop solutions company UPL and the ag tech firm 6th Grain have announced the launch of Crop S.A.F.E. (Smoke And Fire Events), a platform that shows smoke intensity, particulate matter and ozone levels. The information updates in real time and the app retains the data for a week so a user can playback how conditions have changed in a particular location. In addition to showing wine growers if their vineyards could be at risk of smoke taint, which can affect the taste of the fruit and reduce the value of the crop, information on temperature, wind speed and air quality will help growers monitor for other risks such as poor air quality for workers.

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In a statement, UPL business excellence lead Stefano Matozzo said the technology would provide “immediate and direct support to growers and their crop advisors via an interactive platform to help manage risk and enable more informed crop management decisions."

In 2020, RMA estimated smoke taint may have hit as many as 30,000 acres of California wine grapes.

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