About WSU-Decision Aid System

A collaborative project between WSU Extension and WSU Agricultural Research Center.

WSU-DAS is a web-based platform designed to transfer time-sensitive information to decision makers in the tree fruit industry. It runs insect, disease, disorder, and horticultural models to estimate the current status of the issue and links that to appropriate management and pesticide recommendations.

DAS is a comprehensive system that incorporates weather data from Grower Supply Co. and Environment Canada BC, weather forecasts from Dark Sky, historic weather data from Daymet, and other information sources such as the BC Tree Fruit Production Guide. DAS attempts to support reasonably common smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android) as well as desktop computers in all functions. As designed, DAS also has a data/account management subsystem that simplifies use for decision makers and allows them to tailor the information they receive.

Mission Statement

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 Washington tree fruit growers make the best management decisions and remain competitive in the world economy.

Strategic Vision

The development of DAS is guided by four goals and principles:

  1. Implement science-based tools that help with management of time-sensitive problems in entomology, plant pathology, horticulture, soil science and other allied sciences.
  2. 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.
  3. Work with scientists to implement web and smartphone-based solutions to key technical problems faced by the tree fruit industry.
  4. Collaborate with other WSU-DSS 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.

How It Works

Who is it for?
  • for pest management decision makers in the tree fruit industry
What does it provide?
  • time-sensitive information on pest development, management options, and pesticide recommendations
  • accessibility on common smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android)
How does it work?
  1. sign up for an account (free access; Who Supports BC DAS)
  2. choose weather stations near your orchard location
  3. choose pest and horticultural models
    • Insect models: codling moth, honeybee foraging, Mullein (Campylomma) bug, oblique-banded leafroller, peach twig borer, San Jose scale, Western cherry fruit fly
    • Diseases: apple scab, fire blight
    • Horticultural models: blooming (Ambrosia, Cripps Pink, Gala, Red Delicious), fruit growth (Cripps Pink, Gala, Red Delicious)
    • Disorders: storage scald, sunburn browning of apple
  4. view model output
    • current and forecasted status of pests or issue
    • management recommendations depending on the pest status
  5. access management information from the BC Tree Fruit Production Guide

DAS for British Columbia

Climate change is affecting the timing of pests and disease emergence during the growing season, and the tree fruit industry in the Okanagan valley in British Columbia, Canada wanted a tool that provides time-sensitive decision management support. The successful Washington

State Decision Aid System (DAS) was adapted to the Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada in 2018. Known as BC DAS, this exciting expansion into a new region was made possible through the cooperation of the Canadian fruit growing industry in the Okanagan valley and local project partners including the Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program (SIR), BC Tree Fruits, BC Fruit Grower’s Association, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Summerland Research and Development Centre and the BC Ministry of Agriculture. The Sterile Insect Release Program (SIR) is covering ongoing annual costs relating to BC DAS, and the tool is now available free of charge to Okanagan tree fruit growers. WSU is excited to be partnering with the Canadian tree fruit industry.

Initial project funding to support the development, testing and launch of BC DAS has been provided in part by the Sterile Insect Release Program (SIR) and in part by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The project was identified as a priority agricultural adaptation project in the Okanagan Adaptation Strategies (2016) and by the Okanagan Adaptation Working Group through a program delivered by the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative.

A Tool Used By The Industry

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 in Washington State.

  • Roughly 400 managers or management consultants use DAS on a regular basis on >90% of the acreage throughout the season.
  • In all three surveys users 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.
  • 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.

Testimonies By DAS Users

  • “Invaluable tool which I and other consultants use daily.”
  • “You have done wonders. It’s by far the best DSS [decision support system] 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.”

Staff

Dr. Vince Jones
Director of DAS
Professor of Entomology
WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center
Dr. Matt Jones
DAS Manager and Educator
Post-Doctoral Researcher, Entomologist
WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center
Stefano Borghi
DAS Application Systems Developer
WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center
Michelle Cook, MASc
BC DAS Program Manager
Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program
Ethan Federman
Web Developer
WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center
Ute Chambers
DAS Consultant
Staff Scientist, Entomologist
WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Credits

Vince Jones
Overall concept, insect models, insect management recommendations, model interface
WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee

Gary Grove
Overall concept, disease models, disease management recommendations
WSU-Irrigated Agriculture Research & Extension Center, Prosser

Jay Brunner
Overall concept, insect models, insect management recommendations
WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee

Ute Chambers
DAS Manager and Educator (2009-2018)
WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee

Matt Jones
DAS Manager and Educator (2018-present)
WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee

Brad Petit
Software Developer, DAS systems and User Interface
WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee

Stefano Borghi
Software Developer, DAS systems
WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee

Tim Smith
Fireblight model and management
WSU Regional Extension Specialist

Betsy Beers
Campylomma bug model and management
WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee

Jianguang Zhang
Sunburn for Apple model and management
WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee

Larry Schrader
Sunburn for Apple model and management
WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee

Wendy Jones
Model interface & help files
WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee

Gayle Jesperson
Disease model adaptations for BC
BC Ministry of Agriculture

Melissa Tesche
Coordinator BC
Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program

Michelle Cook
Coordinator BC
Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program

Ethan Federman
Software Developer, DAS 7.0 updates
Spokane, WA

Jonathan Spruance
Software Developer, DAS 7.0 User Interface
Seattle, WA

Thong Nguyen
Software Developer, DAS 7.0 User Interface
Dallas, TX

Carl Jackson
Software Developer, OPENED
Spokane, WA

Near-real time data:


Forecasting powered by:
Historic data:

Interested In Adding Your Model To DAS?

Resources Available

WSU-Extension supports 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.

User fees are used to contract additional programmers, support the manager/educator, and any associated costs with running the DAS web site and user training.

DAS has programming in place that allows us to provide environmental data, forecasts, account management, video and text help files, access to the WSU-Crop Protection Guide (EB0419), Orchard Pest Management Online or other web-based resources.

We conduct periodic on-line surveys of particular model features and usefulness and use Google Analytics data to evaluate use of DAS.

DAS accesses near-real time weather data from WSU AgWeatherNet with over 120 stations in Washington State.

For British Columbia, we access near-real time weather data provided by stations from Grower Supply Co. and Environment Canada BC. Forecast weather data is powered by Dark Sky, which provides high-resolution weather data. In addition, Daymet weather data is used for historic averages for long term forecasts.

Our Limitations

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.

Our team 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.