Utah Pests News Fall 2008

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Utah TRAPs: A New Web Site for Calculating Degree Days

The Utah IPM program now offers an online tool for growers to manage their pest problems, produced through a partnership with the Utah Climate Center who funded the site’s programming.  The tool, called Utah TRAPs (Timing Resource and Alert for Pests), is a degree day calculator, insect phenology, and management guide for agriculture and landscape locations in northern Utah.  The ten locations currently included in the system are commercial orchard sites where USU-owned weather stations record a plethora of climatic data.  They are collectively referred to as the “FGNet” system.

Users start at the TRAPs home page (climate.usu.edu/pest), and select a station on the click-able, zoom-able map.  They next choose a pest from the drop-down menu.  Users can request a general growing degree day sum (GDD50), or get customized degree days for: codling moth, greater peachtree borer, peach twig borer, San Jose scale, or western cherry fruit fly.  Biofixes have been determined for appropriate insects, and appears as the default “start date” for the selected pest.  Users can also enter their own biofix.  The system calculates degree days up to the current date (default) or up to a date the user chooses.

The output provides

  • A five-day degree day history and four-day degree day forecast. The forecast is particularly useful for growers needing to know when to target a certain life stage.
  • Management information. If a matching management recommendation exists for any degree day value that appears in the table, it is highlighted in an adjacent table.
  • Insect phenologies (percent moth flight and egg hatch, for example) for each date.

The Utah TRAPs Web site is evolving, and is actually part of a collection of “Plant Management Tools” (PMT) Web pages on the Climate Center site. Future additions to the PMT for next spring include: adding more weather station locations, a fire blight forecasting model, options for FGNet weather data downloads, a frost warning system, evapotranspiration information, and additional insect models covering vegetable, field crop, and landscape systems.

We welcome comments, suggestions, or questions of this new service to Marion Murray (marion.murray@usu.edu).