What is DAS?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 environmental data from WSU-AgWeatherNet, forecasts from NOAA’s National Digital Forecast Database, and other information sources such as WSU’s Orchard Pest Management Online.
A Tool Used by the IndustryWe 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 300 managers or management consultants use DAS on a regular basis on >80% 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.