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Annual Reports

1997IPM Computer Systems

Since 1980 UC IPM has supported development of computerized tools for on-farm decision making and to support research. Over the past 2 years the computer systems staff have utilized new techniques and the World Wide Web to improve delivery of these tools to end users.

On the computer staff are Buz Dreyer and Ed Morgan, programmer/analysts involved in computer program development and maintenance; Donna Seaver, who designs World Wide Web pages and develops written materials for our site; Marty Martino, who oversees the data acquisition and quality control of the weather data; and students Alfred Nicholas, Craig Anderson, and Leo Lam who assist with maintenance of the Web pages. In addition to his work taking care of our departmental computer systems, Michael Kohl manages the help desk to assist users. Nena Bloom, graduate of the UC Davis Plant Protection and Pest Management Program, has recently joined the computer group to develop a WWW site for the California Pesticide Impact Assessment Program.


This past year has seen the retirement of our IMPACT computer system with its set of on-line computer programs and databases developed and maintained by UC IPM over many years. All of the primary features of IMPACT have now been converted and are accessible through the World Wide Web.

Access to the World Wide Web has grown significantly during the past 2 years but it is still relatively new to many of the UC IPM clientele. To help growers, PCAs, and others use the resources available from the UC IPM Web site, we joined with farm advisors, specialists, and professors to give training sessions or other presentations in Lake, Merced, Stanislaus, Sutter, and Sonoma counties; at the UC Davis AgTech '97, AgFresno, and Tulare farm shows, at the UC Davis Pest Science Conference; in several University Extension classes; and to a few production and pest management courses.

Records show that since January 1997 an average of 85,000 pages a month have been viewed by visitors to the UC IPM site. From the e-mail questions received by the site, urban dwellers are also very interested in the information offered.

Cooperative Projects

Over the last year, the computer group worked with researchers, other UC projects, and various agencies to develop or provide new tools.

The NEMABASE database was finalized and installed on the Web for downloading. Developed by Howard Ferris, Ed Caswell-Chen, and Becky Westerdahl with funding from UC IPM and USDA IPM Smith-Lever funds, NEMABASE gives fast, easy access to the host status of plants to plant-parasitic nematodes throughout the world, and can help with rotation and cover cropping decisions for nematode management.

At the request of UC cotton and pest management farm advisors, a San Joaquin Valley cotton planting forecast, formerly provided by National Weather Service, was provided twice daily from mid-March through late April. These 5-day degree-day forecasts helped cotton growers determine suitable weather to plant cotton to avoid seedling diseases and other types of chilling injury. UC IPM computer staff calculated degree-days using National Weather Service forecasts for Fresno and Bakersfield, then supplied the information on the Web.

For the second year, updates of silverleaf whitefly resistance monitoring data from the San Joaquin Valley and other locations were posted to the UC IPM WWW site. The data are part of a project led by Nick Toscano and Nilima Prabhaker, University of California, and Steve Castle, USDA-ARS.

A model of powdery mildew of tomatoes (Leveillula taurica) was incorporated into a spreadsheet so that users could download it and run it with their own weather data. Developed by Remigio Guzman-Plazola and Mike Davis, UCD Department of Plant Pathology, TomatoPM helps users to determine the most effective spray timing based on in-field measurements of temperature, relative humidity, and leaf wetness.

The group has continued to work with Department of Pesticide Regulation on a database of pesticide and nonchemical alternatives used in California to control agricultural pests. We have recently agreed that the database will reside on the DPR Web site when it is completed, but much of the work that went into the database, developed from a survey of UC scientists, was done by UC IPM.

Work has begun on a WWW site for the California Pesticide Impact Assessment Program. CAPIAP is providing a grant to UC IPM to develop a site that will have pesticide- and agriculture-related databases and tools for analyzing information on crop, pesticides, and pest management practices.

Updating the World Wide Web

Addition to the California Weather Database. This extensive set of many years of daily data for approximately 280 stations throughout California is being enhanced by the addition of hourly, in-crop canopy measurements. In conjunction with the PestCast project, weather stations are reporting hourly or more frequent measurements of canopy temperature, relative humidity, leaf wetness, and other variables.

The data are gathered through radio, cellular phone, or land-line telephone networks into UC IPM's computer, then checked for errors. Good data are then stored in the Research Weather Database and made available on the Web. Users can save both the daily and hourly data on their own computers, and import them into spreadsheets, databases, or programs such as DDU, the Degree-Day Utility, or CALEX/Rice.

Degree-Days. When the WWW degree-day calculator was released, only single sine degree-days with horizontal cutoffs could be calculated. This year Ed Morgan added codes to allow calculation by single and double triangle and double sine methods, and added a vertical cutoff calculation for the upper threshold.

On-line Database Updates. The on-line UC Pest Management Guidelines and Pest Notes were updated as authors made changes to the publications, and IPM Education and Publications staff augmented the illustrations. The 1994 pesticide use data were added to the Pesticide Use Summaries database, and a number of models were added to the disease model database.

Information Available from the UC IPM WWW Site at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu
(But the list changes--check out the site for the latest information!)
  • Pest Management Guidelines: an illustrated version of the UC Pest Management Guidelines and Pest Notes publications.
  • California Pesticide Use Data from 1990 through 1995: summaries of reports to the county agricultural commissioners.
  • Degree-days: a degree-day calculator that computes degree-days for specific models or any set of thresholds, using data from the UC IPM California Weather Database.
  • Phenology model database: a collection of degree-day models of more than 100 different organisms.
  • California PestCast disease model database: a collection of models of crop-specific diseases, developed in conjunction with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
  • Results of sponsored research projects, such as NEMABASE, California PestCast, and Silverleaf Whitefly Resistance Monitoring.
  • Catalog of UC IPM developed or sponsored publications, workshops, slide sets, videos, and software.
  • UC IPM annual reports for recent years, which include descriptions of sponsored research and extension projects and other activities of the IPM Project.

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