The WSU-Tree Fruit Decision Aid System (DAS) is the premier source of time-sensitive information for management in Washington State tree fruits. We are open and eager to collaborate with scientists to integrate tools, management information, and models into DAS that will assist the Washington tree fruit industry make the best management decisions and remain competitive in the world economy.
The development of DAS is guided by four goals:
- Implement science-based tools that help with management of time-sensitive problems in entomology, plant pathology, horticulture, soil science and other allied sciences.
- Use technology to simplify and expand our ability to provide information in a broad range of areas to decision-makers in the tree fruit industry.
- Work with scientists to implement web and smartphone-based solutions to key technical problems faced by the tree fruit industry.
- Collaborate with other WSU-Decision Support Systems and researchers in the region to implement science-based tools for the transfer of time-sensitive information to decision-makers. This includes sharing tools already developed by WSU-Tree Fruit DAS or implementing tools developed by other groups.
What is DAS?
WSU-DAS (das.wsu.edu) is a web-based platform designed to transfer time-sensitive information to decision-makers in the tree fruit industry. It currently consists of ten insect, four disease, and two horticultural models that estimate the current and projected status of the issue. It also provides management recommendations including access to pesticide recommendations. DAS is a comprehensive system that incorporates WSU-AgWeatherNet data, forecasts from NOAA’s National Digital Forecast Database, and other information sources such as WSU’s Crop Protection Guide and Orchard Pest Management Online. DAS attempts to support reasonably common smart-phones and tablets (iOS and Android) as well as desktop computers in all functions. Email alerts of key management timing and issues will be implemented in 2015. The majority of DAS is available in Spanish. As designed, DAS has a data/account management subsystem that gives decision makers fast and easy access and allows them to tailor the information they receive.
We performed user surveys in 2008, 2010, and 2013 to estimate usage and areas where we needed to improve the system. The results showed that DAS is used by the majority of IPM decision makers in the industry. Roughly 400 managers or management consultants use DAS on a regular basis on >90% of the acreage throughout the season. All three user surveys estimated that the value for DAS to the industry was roughly $16.5M/yr. Users felt that DAS clarified treatment timing, improved their overall management program, helped them choose pesticides for best efficacy and least effects on natural enemies, and was a good source of general IPM information. Users also reported better pest control and lower management costs.
Finally, DAS users indicated that 81% of them shared information on DAS with others, suggesting that its impact is broader than what can be estimated by just counting those who regularly access the web site. Simply put, DAS reaches the decision makers in the industry.
User Comments from Our Surveys
“Invaluable tool which I and other consultants use daily.”
“You have done wonders. It’s by far the best DSS anywhere.”
“DAS will be great for new people coming into agriculture. It has been a help to those of us near going out. Our company has an internship program for young people entering agriculture. I encourage them to use this program. When you advise to farm, you need the weather every day. Thank you!”
“It’s a great system, keep up the good work, thanks!”
“Thanks for the great tool.”
- The current support for DAS from WSU-Extension is a full-time programmer whose function is to help develop, update, and maintain the programming infrastructure of DAS. No funding is available for new model implementation, but we will work with scientists to implement their models based on constraints of our programmers’ time.
- DAS already has programming in place that allows us to provide environmental data, forecasts, account management, text or email messaging, video and text help files, access to the WSU-Crop Protection Guide (EB0419), Orchard Pest Management Online or other web-based resources. We are also developing grant-funded resources to allow smart phone/tablet GPS-based sampling.
- We can also provide on-line surveys of particular model features/usefulness and use of Google Analytics data to evaluate use of the model.
- We have on-line the NOAA National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) temperature records for the entire continental US for the period of 2005–current. This data is both on the 3 x 3 mile grid (2005–current) and the 1.5 x 1.5 miles high resolution data (2013–current). The data can be used to drive models depending on forecasts (e.g., sunburn of apple) or provide historic information for any particular location in the US to help validate or test models.
- We will be implementing user fees in March 2015 of $150 per station. Each individual making management recommendations using DAS will need a separate account for each station where management information from DAS is needed. This fee provides access to all models and all the synthesized data associated with that site.
- The user fees will be used to hire a second programmer, support the manager/educator, and any associated costs with running the DAS web site and user training.
You Can Help!
DAS is a high quality science-based tool to help growers and IPM managers make optimal decisions for severe pests, diseases, or horticultural issues. If you use and like DAS, donations help keep the system running and allow us to work on innovative solutions to your problems.
To donate Contact:
Ben McLuen, Director of Development, Alumni and Friends, WSU | phone 509.335.4172 | email: email@example.com
Dr. Vince Jones
Director of DAS
Professor of Entomology
Dr. Ute Chambers
Manager and Educator
Mr. Brad Petit
- DAS is not a research center with resources that allow us to develop models from scratch. We will work with faculty and other scientists to implement their models and management recommendations in a way that is useful to tree fruit managers. Our expertise is focused on insects and mites, but we are willing and eager to work with other scientists to fill out portions of DAS in their area of expertise.
- The faculty or industry scientists must provide the validated model and work with us to make sure that it is correctly implemented and answer all questions as to the validity of the models and recommendations.
- We will work with the faculty and industry affiliated scientists to provide user training within the tree fruit industry.
- Extensive programming outside our core competence in DSS implementation must be supported by outside funding.
- DAS is not a comprehensive listing of knowledge of all things tree fruit. It is focused only on transfer of time-sensitive knowledge and the rapid processing of information needed for time-critical management decisions.