Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 11:15 AM
The development of an insect migration forecast product for pest management: An example of interaction among atmospheric scientists and the product user
206A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
In early 2006, meteorologists at Northern Illinois University began interacting with various entomologists and pest managers, both in the academic and private sectors, to discuss the development of a weather forecasting tool that would link various atmospheric phenomena to the migration of various insects that cause significant damage and subsequent yield/dollar losses to Midwestern crops. Through interactions with the entomologists/pest managers, a need for an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) forecast was identified. A daily (Monday-Friday) forecast (Insect Migration Risk Forecast, or IMRF) was sent out to list subscribers and, based on frequent feedback from the user, the product contents were adjusted and presented in a fashion that highlighted regions and likelihood of insect migration risk based on synoptic scale weather patterns forecasted to occur over the Midwest for the next 24 hours to five days. The positive and timely convergence of two relatively unrelated disciplines on paper can ultimately lead to the prevention of high dollar and yield losses through advanced preparation for expected insect migrations.