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.
The development of DAS is guided by four goals and principles:
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. It implements models that estimate the current status of the issue, provides management recommendations including access to pesticide recommendations. DAS is a comprehensive system that incorporates WSUAgWeatherNet data, forecasts from NOAA’s National Digital Forecast Database, and other information sources such as WSU’s Orchard Pest Management Online. DAS is web-based, and attempts to support reasonably common smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android) as well as desktop computers in all functions. Text and email alerts of key management timing and issues will be implemented in 2014. The majority of DAS is available in Spanish. 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.
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.
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, email@example.com, 509-335-4172.