WSU Decision Aid System

What is DAS?

Image shows four panels depicting the Ambrosia model.
DAS screenshot showing the bloom model for Ambrosia.

The WSU Decision Aid System (DAS) is a collaborative project between WSU Extension and WSU Agricultural Research Center. It 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 currently runs 11 insect, 7 horticultural, and 5 disease/disorder models.

DAS is a comprehensive system that incorporates weather data from WSU-AgWeatherNet (AWN) (https://weather.wsu.edu/) and the commercial weather provider Darksky (Darksky.net).  DAS also incorporates WSU’s Orchard Pest Management Online (http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/insectref/). DAS supports smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers in all functions. For ease of use, decision-makers are able to tailor the information they view within DAS.


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

Testimonials from 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.”

How does it work?

  1. Sign up for an account.
  2. Choose weather stations near your orchard location (a user fee is required per weather station annually, all models included).
  3. choose pest and horticultural models.
    • Insect models: apple maggot, Campylommabug, codling moth, honey bee foraging, Lacanobiafruit worm, oblique-banded leafroller, oriental fruit moth, Pandemisleafroller, peach twig borer, San Jose scale, Western cherry fruit fly;
    • Disease models: apple scab, fire blight, cherry powdery mildew
    • Disorders: storage scald, sunburn browning of apple;
    • Horticultural models: blooming (Ambrosia, Cripps Pink, Gala, Red Delicious), fruit growth (Cripps Pink, Gala, Red Delicious).
  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 WSU Crop Protection Guide.


Strategic Vision

The development of DAS is guided by four goals:
  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-Decision Support Systems 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.

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 tree fruit industry in WA 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.
Images shows the news items and other elements on the Home page.
Screenshot showing the DAS Home/Login page.

People

Dr. Vince Jones
Director of DAS, Professor of Entomology
vpjones@wsu.edu
(509) 293-8776

Dr. Matthew Jones
DAS Manager and Educator, Associate Research Faculty
matthew.s.jones@wsu.edu
(509) 293-8775

Dr. Ute Chambers
Staff Scientist
uchambers@wsu.edu

Stefano Borghi
DAS Application Systems Developer
stefano.borghi@wsu.edu
(509) 293-8774

Ethan Federman
Web Developer