An Innovative Approach to Weather-Based Decision-Support for Agricultural Models

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Wednesday, 1 February 2006: 4:30 PM
An Innovative Approach to Weather-Based Decision-Support for Agricultural Models
A412 (Georgia World Congress Center)
Rafal Jabrzemski, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and A. Sutherland

Presentation PDF (79.7 kB)

The Oklahoma Mesonet, in cooperation with scientists and professionals from Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma, has developed and maintains operation of many agrometeorological models. Recently, two new models were introduced: the Pecan Scab Model and the Spinach White Rust Model. These models, while simple in calculation of disease hours, provide growers and industry professionals a web-based tool with a variety of products. Model users have the ability to look at current and historical disease hour data for each Oklahoma Mesonet tower location. Data is displayed in interactive maps and graphs, as well as tables. Both models are updated hourly. The forecast of disease hours is based on the National Weather Service ETA Model, with a 32 kilometer resolution. The Pecan Scab Model is operational from March through August and the Spinach White Rust Model is operational from September to May. Interactive parts of both models give growers an option to input into calculations the last date when a fungicide was applied, to determine the fungicide protection window for their crop. In addition, if the protection window has already ended, disease hours accumulated since that date are calculated and displayed. Research at pecan field sites using Mesonet weather data has shown that only the total disease hours during the 14 days preceding a scab rating were critical in correlating disease development. In the case of the Spinach White Rust Model, all disease hours since the beginning of the growing season or since the end of the protection period following the last spray are considered in making a fungicide application recommendation. Both models give growers interactive visual tools that show current disease hours, alongside with ten year average hours, last year conditions and several days of a best estimate of disease forecast. For reference, there is an interactive page that allows users to view any of the last ten years of disease hour accumulation based on Mesonet meteorological data. There are also state wide maps that show seasonal accumulation of disease hours. This "one stop shop," provides horticultural producers the tools to maximize plant disease protection, while minimizing pesticide use.