Pest forecasting models
Over the last 20 years, funding from Defra and AHDB Horticulture in particular has enabled the development of a variety of models for forecasting pest outbreaks, some of which have been used very successfully to target control measures. Such models can also be used to predict the future impact of climate change on pest insects. Unfortunately, changes in funding strategies mean that these bespoke models are no longer supported in terms of software upgrades and some will become inaccessible in the longer term as operating systems change.
The aim of project CP 127 was to focus on pest insects and to develop a compendium of pest models in a format that could be used directly with inputs of current weather data, or could be transferred by commercial companies to more complex systems. The reason for building ‘simple’ models is to make them readily accessible, more resilient to upgrades in operating systems and to ensure they can be modified over time without the need for specialist programming expertise. Many of these are day-degree models, but others are complex (such as the Monte Carlo models for carrot fly and cabbage root fly).
The objectives of project CP 127 were to:
- Create the pest compendium structure using representative models.
- Incorporate Monte-Carlo models (cabbage root fly, carrot fly, pollen beetle, large narcissus fly) and day-degree models (lettuce-root aphid, willow-carrot aphid, currant-lettuce aphid) into the spreadsheet-based tool.
- Validate models using corresponding MORPH outputs i.e. using the same set of weather data to run the models in MORPH and the pest compendium.
The output from the MORPH models is available in the AHDB Horticulture Pest Bulletin on the Syngenta web site. This is updated weekly during the growing season and growers can be reminded of the bulletin through the link provided in the AHDB Horticulture weekly email, which is sent out each Friday.
If growers would also like to access the MORPH Models, these have now been rebuilt using a compatible format in Excel. They are hosted on the Warwick Crop Centre website here.
Please note: The pest and disease decision support tools are a guide to decision making and users should not rely just on these tools to make management decisions.