Utah Timing Resource and Alert for Pests (TRAPs)
The featured climate tool for January was developed by the Utah Climate Center in collaboration with the Utah State University Integrated Pest Management Program and the Utah State University Extension. The TRAPs (Timing Resource and Alert for Pests) system is primarily used for agriculture in northern Utah by utilizing weather stations that are a part of the Fruit Growers Network. The Fruit Growers Network was established in 2003 and is operated and maintained by the Utah Climate Center. There are currently 18 stations in the network with the newest station recently (June 2011) installed in Leeds, UT in the southwest portion of the state.
The TRAPs tool calculates degree days and integrates insect phenology to provide guidance and pest management suggestions. Specific models have been developed for several pests that impact the area including the Codling Moth, Fire Blight, Greater Peachtree Borer, Peach Twig Borer, San Jose Scale, and the Western Cherry Fruit Fly. Information sheets on each of the pests are also linked at the tool. The user selects the pest they are concerned about, enters the “Biofix Date”, or the bloom start date, and the “End Date”. The results provide a table of current degree days and pest phenology, plus a 5-day forecast of each. The table shows highlighted sections and uses tool tips to guide the fruit grower to the appropriate management option. Additional instruction sheets are available at the utility’s main site. The partners involved in TRAPs have received grant funding to update and expand this tool.
Feedback from local orchard owners has been very positive, with surveys suggesting that a third of the site users have reduced their pesticide application and pest management costs as a result of using the site. Additionally, approximately half of the users reported healthier plants. Continued measures to quantify the benefit of the TRAPs system are ongoing.
Each month, an AASC-developed climate tool will be featured from our “Climate Tools Database”, expanding on the short description already listed in the table.