Plants suffer stress from nutrient deficiency, making them more susceptible to pest attacks. Increased pest attacks result in increased blanket use of insecticides, but new technology could combat this. Drones and multi-sensory cameras can detect nutrient deficient/susceptible areas, and map for targeted treatment by farmers. DRONES, or Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAVs), are playing the role of medical doctor and are now able to diagnose the stress levels of plants, which could lead to less insecticide use. Quirky as it may sound, stress in plants is a key factor in their susceptibility to pest attacks. For commercial grain crops, this can have a massive impact on results.Plants can be stressed for any number of reasons, but one of the most common is a nutrient deficiency, according to Department of Agriculture and Food WA research scientist Dusty Severtson. « In particular, previous studies have found plants deficient in potassium will be more susceptible to attacks from pests, such as aphids, » he says.