Enviro-weather’s Fire Blight Interactive Predictor modified to improve predictions

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

We’ve changed the Enviro-weather Fire Blight Interactive Predictor to better alert users to potential blossom blight conditions. The original Maryblyt model, on which the Enviro-weather version is based, specified that sufficient moisture for blossom infections could be provided by rainfall and also by dew or water from a spray application provided other conditions were met. Until now, the Enviro-weather tool used rainfall, but not leaf wetness, as an indicator of moisture.

The newest update includes a column showing the number of hours each day with leaf wetness. A wet hour is defined as any hour with at least 15 minutes of wetness, as measured by the leaf wetness grid sensor at the Enviro-weather station. In any day with at least one hour of leaf wetness (LW), but no measurable precipitation, the W (wetness) cell for that day is highlighted in blue and the - symbol is changed to (-). This display alerts the user that sufficient moisture may be present to initiate an infection if the other conditions are also conducive. The user can then click on the “Change Weather or Management Information” button and enter the wetting condition information to incorporate them into infection calculations. Users must decide whether to do this or not. It is not automatic.

This new version makes the Enviro-weather Fire Blight Interactive Predictor closer to the original Maryblyt and thus more useful in judging borderline situations for blossom infection.

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