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NDAWN Releases Sugar Beet Root Maggot Model

NDAWN Releases Sugar Beet Root Maggot Model

A new online model can help sugar beet growers decide when to apply insecticide for root maggots.

The North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network Center has released a model to assist sugar beet growers with insecticide timing based on root maggot development.

"The new root maggot insecticide application model will have a positive economic and environmental impact because it will help growers apply insecticide during the most effective time of the maggot development," says Adnan Akyuz, NDAWN Center director, state climatologist and assistant professor of climatology in the North Dakota State University Soil Science Department.

"We already have the infrastructure - 72 state-of-the-art automated weather stations scattered across North Dakota and neighboring states to observe atmospheric variables," he adds. "These variables are used to calculate many agricultural applications for barley, canola, corn, potato, sunflower, wheat and other small grains. The center also assists farmers with irrigation scheduling applications and energy producers with heating and cooling degree day applications."

Mark Boetel, associate professor of entomology at NDSU, developed the model.

"The NDAWN sugar beet root maggot application involves a model we developed by correlating 15 years of root maggot fly activity with NDAWN-generated temperature accumulations from 119 sampling sites throughout the Red River Valley," Boetel says. "It should be reliable and representative of how temperature accumulations impact this pest's flight activity."

The model is available at

Users either can select locations from the menu and view the data in table format or select a map and view the data in map format. The application will keep track of accumulated heat units, which correspond to certain maggot growth stages. The map will have color counters to easily separate different categories and recommendations.

"The sugar beet root maggot prediction model will allow beet growers to better schedule insecticide applications and maximize return per acre," says Allan Cattanach, American Crystal Sugar general agronomist.

Source: NDSU Agriculture Communication

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