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It’s a Spornado! But that’s good news for cereal growers

Hold on to your hats — the Spornado is coming.

“(The Spornado) is a really good tool that’s been developed over the last couple of years,” said Trevor Blois, disease diagnostician for 20/20 Seed Labs.

“It’s just a passive spore catcher that has been used by potato growers in Ontario to detect late blight spores, and that’s really helped them with timing their fungicide applications.”

Developed by Sporometrics and used primarily thus far in potato and tomato crops in Central Canada, the Spornado is a low-tech way to collect disease-causing spores from the air and water. The cone-shaped tool is placed in the field during the growing season, and then traps spores in specialized filters. These filters are then sent to a lab for testing, with a two- to three-day turnaround time (although, for a price, one-day rush jobs are possible).

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