Faculty to Receive CAHNRS Team Award for Research Excellence
Congratulations to Dr. Gary Grove, professor of plant pathology and located at IAREC, Prosser. He is a member of the WSU-Decision Aid System (DAS) Team which was selected to receive the 2013 CAHNRS Team Interdisciplinary Award of Excellence. Dr. Grove and his team members will be recognized by CAHNRS dean, Dr. Dan Bernardo at the annual CAHNRS banquet on April 13th in Ensminger.
The WSU-Decision Aid System (DAS) Team is composed of faculty from Entomology (Drs. Vince Jones, Ute Chambers, Betsy Beers, Jay Brunner and the programmer Mr. Brad Petit), Plant Pathology (Dr. Gary Grove), Horticulture (Dr. Larry Schrader (now retired)), and Mr. Tim Smith (county agent in Douglas-Chelan County). This team has developed a decision support system for tree fruits (das.wsu.edu) that integrates 10 insect, 4 disease and 2 horticultural models with environmental data (from WSU-AWN and NOAA’s National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD)), management recommendations triggered by model output, pesticide recommendations (which can be filtered by pests and their effects on natural enemies), video help files, and the ability to obtain historical model predictions to evaluate causes of control failure. Users can access to not only the current model conditions and management recommendations, but also check how conditions will change over the next 7-10 days, along with site-specific weather data important for management. DAS is available in English as well as Spanish.
DAS was initially released to just 13 users (our industry beta group) in 2007; it currently has over 400 users that use it >10 times per season. Surveys conducted in 2008 and 2010 show that users estimate the value of the system to ≈$16 M/year, and that the system improves management outcomes and reduces pesticide use by optimizing management timing. The DAS clientele consists of pest managers, orchard managers and growers. The surveys also show that the system is used now on virtually all the industries 225,000 acres of apple, pear, and cherry orchards (over 3,000 orchards) in the state (surveys at http://tinyurl.com/3nyl8wt). Dr. Grove and rest of the team has developed what is arguably the best decision support system for tree fruits in the world. It is simple to use, comprehensive, and is an excellent example of the convergence of science and information technology. The DAS team recognized the bottleneck in information flow, developed solutions, and implemented those solutions to the benefit of the tree fruit industry.