This is a collaborative effort
between scientists from the
Illinois State Water Survey, a division of the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources, and the Integrated Pest Management
Program of the Department of
Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois.
"Growth of pests and crops in
Illinois can be tracked and projected by maintaining an account of
the ‘heat’ accumulated during each growing season," said
meteorologist Bob Scott of the Illinois State Water Survey. "This
process involves comparison of daily maximum and minimum
temperatures to a base temperature, specific for a particular pest
or crop, above which development of the pest or crop will occur."
Computer algorithms were
developed for tracking 30 agricultural pests and also for
determining growing degree-day totals for corn and cold weather
Degree-day accumulations for
some pests, regardless of their location in Illinois, have a
specific calendar day when heat tracking begins, such as Jan. 1 each
year. Local accumulations for other pests and for crops are tied to
specific, user-provided events, such as first spring trapping of
adult pests, sighting of insect eggs and planting dates.
of second column in this article]
One- and two-week degree-day
projections, based on climate records at each site, are included.
The tool also produces maps of degree-day totals and projections for
the entire state where appropriate.
"This information is computed
from data collected at 19 weather sites across Illinois and is
specific for those locations," said Scott.
"These data are valuable in
helping users determine when to monitor their fields for approaching
stages of pest development and with the subsequent operational
decisions that follow," added Kelly Cook, entomologist with the
Integrated Pest Management Program at the University of Illinois.
degree-day information is computed from data collected through the
day just prior to when each user accesses the system. In general,
up-to-date information will be available by 4 a.m., seven days a
week. The URLs are
http://www.sws.uiuc.edu/warm/agdata.asp for "Agricultural Data" and
http://www.ipm.uiuc.edu/degreedays for "Insect Growth and
Development" and the degree-day calculator.
State Water Survey news release]