A real-time prediction map for the pecan nut pest called the casebearer is now available at a newly upgraded Web site.
Dr. Marvin Harris, professor of entomology at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, and Bill Ree, Texas Cooperative Extension program specialist, were co-developers of the program, which can be found at http://pecankernel.tamu.edu/ .
The prediction map was launched in 2006 and will be continued this year, Harris said.
"The real-time predictions rely on a large number of Texas Pecan Growers Association member/cooperators and non-traditional cooperators that include Master Gardeners in Texas," he said.
Many cooperators work with Extension agents and the Texas A&M University System regional research and Extension centers across the state.
The cooperators gather data -- often daily -- from pecan nut casebearer pheromone traps from April through June and send it by e-mail to Harris or Ree, who analyze, consolidate and map the information for posting on the Web site, Harris said.
"The real-time map estimates the ‘decision date' when producers will need to inspect their pecans for eggs, larvae and nut entry and decide whether or not they will need an insecticide treatment to protect the crop," he said.
The decision date is determined by the male pecan nut casebearer moths' first appearance in the traps at each cooperator's site.
The decision map on the Web site allows producers to see what is happening across the state and decide whether and when to treat, Ree said.
This pest can ruin an entire crop in some years and cause little damage in others, so vigilance is needed, he said.
The pest was very early in most areas in 2006 and severe in some areas. Producers who consulted this map avoided being blind-sided by the unusually early onset of this pest in 2006, he said.
"We don't know yet what the situation will be in 2007, but we will be watching and quickly reporting what we find via the Web site," Ree said.
Further information on the prediction map is available from http://agnews.tamu.edu/dailynews/stories/ENTO/May1106a.htm.