Adding Epidemiologically Important Meteorological Data to Peanut Rx, the Risk Assessment Framework for Spotted Wilt of Peanut.
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Management of disease affecting peanut in the southeastern United States has benefited from extensive field research identifying disease-associated risk factors since the 1990s. An assessment of risk factors associated with tomato spotted wilt (TSW), caused by tomato spotted wilt virus and spread exclusively by thrips, is available to growers through Peanut Rx, a tool developed to inform peanut management decisions. Peanut Rx provides an assessment of relative TSW risk as an index. The assessment provides information about the relative degree to which a field characterized by a specified suite of practices is at risk of crop loss caused by TSW. Loss results when infection occurs, and infection rates are determined, in part, by factors outside a grower's control, primarily the abundance of dispersing, viruliferous thrips. In this study, we incorporated meteorological variables useful for predicting thrips dispersal, increasing the robustness of the Peanut Rx framework in relation to variation in the weather. We used data from field experiments and a large grower survey to estimate the relationships between weather and TSW risk mediated by thrips vectors, and developed an addition to Peanut Rx that proved informative and easy to implement. The expected temporal occurrence of major thrips flights, as a function of heat and precipitation, was translated into the existing risk-point system of Peanut Rx. Results from the grower survey further demonstrated the validity of Peanut Rx for guiding growers' decisions to minimize risk of TSW.
author list (cited authors)
Chappell, T. M., Codod, C. B., Williams, B. W., Kemerait, R. C., Culbreath, A. K., & Kennedy, G. G.