Powdery mildews are among the most problematic plant pathogens to control with fungicides. Strawberries are particularly affected, as many commercial varieties are highly susceptible, grown in climates that favour disease, and the powdery mildew pathogens rapidly become resistant to many of the best fungicides.
Weekly exposure of strawberries to shortwave UV light is highly effective in suppressing powdery mildew, but the treatments must be applied at night to avoid damaging the plants. That creates a labour issue. No one wants to drag a UV light array behind a tractor all night long.. That’s where modern agricultural robots excel: they can carry the relatively lightweight lamp arrays, and they don’t mind working all night.