Pest damage to crops and production can lead to reduced yields and a ruined bottom line. Investing in a procedure that minimizes, controls, or eradicates this damage is critical for any primary producer.
But accurate weather forecasts are a crucial part of any pest treatment plan. Without factoring in weather, you could end up wasting products, time, and money.
The experts at DTN understand the relationship between the weather and your livelihood. From planting to irrigation to pest control, you have a lot of timely decisions to make. MyDTN offers the weather and market data you need. Call a team member today to see how our solutions can work for you.
Not Just About Critters
To protect the integrity of your crops, you have to take into consideration all types of potential damage. Harm can come from any of these:
- Noxious Weeds
- Extreme Winds
Any plan to guard your fields and crops against these dangers must include accurate weather forecasts. Since the weather impacts the life cycle of harmful plants and animals, farmers and ranchers must have reliable data.
What Is a Pesticide Treatment Plan?
For most agricultural producers, animal pests are the biggest threat to their crops. Reducing them to manageable numbers is critical.
When crafting a plan, producers need to consider a wide range of questions.
- What type of concern is the strategy addressing? Insects, mammal pests, fungus, and weeds will all require different treatments.
- What method is necessary to implement treatment? Common pest control options include aerial spraying, trap cropping, and use of insect repellents.
- What sort of damage does the pest cause? Is it eating crops, laying eggs, or damaging the soil?
- What is the economic impact of containing the pest?
- What is the life cycle of the plant or animal? Will it be back again next season or year?
- What weather conditions cause the pests to thrive?
- What potential side effects of the treatment exist?
- Are there other environmental concerns to consider? Will eradication of this pest affect animals, plants, or humans in the vicinity? Will there be damage to waterways?
- Is the pest problem likely to self-regulate?
How Weather Forecasts Help You Plan
Agricultural producers have limited time, money, and land, just as any business does. So they need to make cost-effective decisions on how to use these resources best. They must get crops to the market in sufficient, saleable quantities and quality to make their investment worthwhile.
To utilize a pesticide treatment plan, farmers and ranchers require accurate weather forecasts. This data allows them to decide when and where to apply the product for maximum effectiveness.
Reliable weather reports help you determine the following critical information.
Likely Arrival of Pests
Weather patterns can make or break a pest or disease infestation. Having accurate forecasts allows you to track the likelihood of something growing to significant enough numbers to cause a problem. For example, some pests need dry, hot weather to survive and thrive. So they may be a negligible threat in a year that is cooler or rainier than usual.
Best Days for Application
Each pesticide product has different guidelines for use. Some may require an assurance of warm, dry weather for several days while others do best on cool days. The method of application, such as aerial spraying, may depend upon specific conditions as well.
Never Plan In a Vacuum
Effective pesticide treatment plans require accurate weather forecasts, and much more. Producers have to consider all of the following when crafting a strategy:
- Economic Threshold – This is the level of pest density at which economic damage will occur. Some years, the mass doesn’t reach a level to cause concern.
- Aesthetic Issues – Some pests do not harm the integrity or safety of a crop for consumption. But they may damage the physical appearance enough that you can no longer sell the product.
- Built-In Protection – Depending on your crop, you may have plants that have Bt traits for pest control. If that’s the case, you may be able to bypass certain treatments.
While long-term pest eradication may be an ideal goal with treatments, it’s not feasible. Plants and animals adapt and even migrate. So that means treatment strategies have to adapt, too.
Life Cycle of Pests
Insects are responsible for most pest problems. They generally have a short life cycle but can be prolific when it comes to reproducing. Therefore, any pesticide treatment arrangement needs to include planning for the next round of infestation.
The pest density in a field can change quickly from day to day. So having accurate data on the population in your crops is crucial for planning and protecting your bottom line. Products that give you real-time pest counts work with weather forecasts to help you plan properly.
Isn’t My Local Weather Forecast Enough?
Your friendly news station weather person may have fun graphics and a hometown feel. But they can’t give you specific insights into the weather for your fields. To make an effective pesticide treatment plan, you need a higher level of data.
Platforms that give you hyper-local forecasts will allow you to plan and act strategically. This type of action protects your crops and your profit.
Eradicating pests before they take hold is the best way to defend against them. Identifying problem areas early is more effective than dealing with the pests after they establish themselves. Reliable weather predictions, daily pest counts, and historical trends help you determine the right actions to take.
An effective pest treatment plan does not end with the application of a pesticide. Ongoing monitoring is necessary to make sure the treatment works the way it should. Look out for re-infestations or additional damage to crops.
MyDTN Has You Covered
It is challenging to make cost-effective decisions to protect crops season after season. It requires access to effective planning and prediction tools.
MyDTN provides the most up-to-date information on weather, seasonal fluctuations, and market conditions. This powerful agriculture app allows you to remain profitable as you deal with Mother Nature’s whims.
Reach out to DTN today for a look at how our solutions benefit your bottom line.