The High-Volume Cyclone (HVC) Sampler, designed and produced by us at Agri Samplers Ltd, is a robust and autonomous piece of air sampling equipment used for collecting fungal spores, pollen, and other airborne particles.
Improved Design, Faster Detection
It has been designed using the latest technology to provide high collection efficiency and reliability, sampling at 270 l/min – 27 times greater than the standard Hirst-type spore trap and over 16 times greater than other commonly used multi-vial cyclone spore traps.
Faster sampling rates ensure a much larger sample and much greater detection sensitivity for fungal spores and pollen that may be in the air at very low concentrations.
Historically the reliability of cyclone samplers, especially multi-vial spore traps, has not been great. Many are mechanically poorly designed or are not robust enough to withstand prolonged weather exposure.
With over 30 years in the field of agricultural technology design, we have used this experience to understand the root causes for failure and made reliability and high-volume collection efficiency our number one priority.
Our HVC sampling cyclone has been designed with reliability and high-volume collection efficiency at the fore front of the design, Due to the very poor reliability of some multi-vial cyclone spore traps that are current on the market.
The High-Volume Cyclone Sampler from Agri-Samplers Ltd provides a fast and accurate alert of impending crop infections like potato blight (Phytophthora infestans), Turnips yellows virus (TuYV) or sclerotinia, affecting oil seed rape (OSR).
Knowing when an infection risk is building, and for what fungal spore or virus, is vital to allow fast action to protect valuable crops. It also allows for more precise delivery of pesticides, minimising the impact to the environment and significantly reducing the costs of protection.
For example, dosing on a purely preventative basis with no knowledge of actual risks or local infections may cost £2,000 – £5,000 per acre per dosage. Depending on the crop spraying could be 4 times to 10 times per season depending on the crop.
However, by accurately measuring the air around the crop you will know immediately whether specific pathogens are increasing to levels that require treatment. This can mean only a single delivery of pesticides or even none, saving £1,000’s in costs.
Approximate spray cost on 100 acres of potatoes can be in the region of £45k per season. Based on 10 applications in a growing season, applications work out to be approx. £4.5k per acre.
How It Works
The cyclone sampler works by creating an air vortex, which causes particles to be deposited into removable 2ml screw-top sample tubes or pots. There are 16 of these collection pots, mounted on a carousel and the system will rotate a new pot into position beneath the cyclone.
All the settings for sampling are configurable within the controller; from sampling start delay, to the start and end of the sampling period window, and for how long each sampling pot is exposed for.
This allows the user to set up bespoke sampling periods of their choice. The pots can be changed at the end of the sampling period when all 16 pots have been used or at any point before the sampling period has finished.
Intermittent sampling can be set up by adding an on an off time to the original sampling period, this is often used to conserve battery power and therefore extend the time between recharges.
The samples collected are in a format that is easy for analysis using DNA-based methods (PCR, LAMP, sequencing), immunological methods (ELISA, LFD) and microscopy. The sample can be made into a suspension by adding liquid and gentle agitation to allow transfer or for the sample to be examined under a microscope.
Size and Placement
The sampler is compact, measuring 760mm high by 270mm wide, with an intake that rotates into the wind by the attached wind vain. The intake is kept into the prevailing wind to ensure maximum collection efficiency and has been found in wind-tunnel studies to be far superior to devices with omnidirectional air intakes.