The Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) is an on-line tool that uses weather stations and pest forecast models to foster Integrated Pest Management implementation (IPM) and environmental stewardship. Until recently, NEWA was unavailable in Ohio. Four Ohio growers are committed to utilizing weather stations, connecting to NEWA, and promoting IPM implementation in their region. In this Partnership project the cooperating growers will learn to use NEWA, source weather data using a RainWise weather station, and synthesize pest forecast information into responsible spray decisions. Growers will validate the NEWA forecast models by comparing pest damage between plots managed with and without NEWA. The project will be evaluated through grower feedback, disease incidence and severity assessments, spray and trap data, and yield evaluations. Outreach will target other grape growers in the region who will benefit from NEWA availability in Ohio. Project results and impacts will be delivered through newsletters, meetings and field days. Because NEWA is new to Ohio and most grape growers do not integrate weather stations or pest forecast models into their IPM programs, the potential impact of this study is substantial.
- Validate grape disease and grape berry moth forecasting models in Ohio through
- Estimate the economic benefits of using forecasting models to inform decisions and timing of pesticide applications.
- Educate collaborating grape growers about NEWA and pest forecast
- Inform other Ohio grape growers about the availability of grape pest forecast models via
Six demonstration plots were set-up during the 2018 growing season in vineyards throughout Ohio. Four of the plots were in grower vineyards and two were located in research vineyards. Rainwise weather stations were installed at all six locations and connected to NEWA. Plots were divided into two sub-plots and diseases and insect pests were managed using NEWA in one subplot and a calendar spray program in the other. Disease severity, insect damage, soluble sugars and yield were measured. Economic data including inputs and labor were recorded. Data from each experiment is being combined and analyzed.
Preliminary data from the two research plots indicate that using the NEWA system to predict the timing of fungicide application was equally effective to applying the sprays using a calendar spray program for black rot, phomoposis and powdery mildew control. In both research plots less sprays were applied to the NEWA treated plots. Downy mildew severity was numerically higher in the NEWA managed plots at one of the research locations. Total marketable yield was an average of 25% less in the NEWA treated plots compared to the plots sprayed using a calendar spray program. Data from the grower demonstration plots is being compiled and analyzed.
Educational & Outreach Activities
Consultations: At least three on-site visits were made to assist growers with installing the weather stations, selecting plots, and assessing disease, insect and yield. In addition, one-one phone calls during the season were held to troubleshoot problems either with the NEWA system or plots.
Workshop / field days: Grape Field Day, July 19 2018, Kingsville, OH- Attendees (65) were provided a tour of the demonstration plot at the Ashtabula Agricultural Research Station and introduced to the project and the utilities of NEWA.
Webinars, talks and presentations: Two video conferences were held with the participating growers were held. The first call was to review the logistics of the project, provide resources to the growers and explain the on-line system that we would use to exchange information and data. During the second call growers were provided with instructional support for using the NEWA web interface and provided an overview on the diseases and insect pests that the project was focusing on.