Put custom Growing Degree Day reports in the palm of your hand with Mobilize
Those who are not growers must find the term “growing degree day” strange. Is it a holiday? Is it a certain kind of weather? If you are a grower, you know it’s neither: it’s an index.
Before you plant any crops or begin counting down the days to harvest using the Davis Mobilize app, it's important to have a strong understanding of growing degree days.
What are Growing Degree Days?
Like insects, plants develop in stages – such as germination or flowering. A plant’s progression through those stages can be measured to a high degree of accuracy by tracking average air temperatures throughout its lifetime. Once a specific accumulation of heat has occurred, the plant will reach its next developmental stage, barring drought or disease.
The Growing Degree Day (GDD) index expresses how much heat a plant has absorbed above its lower threshold for growth (some plants have an upper threshold as well). Some cool season plants like peas or alfalfa don’t need to accumulate a lot of heat, while others, like corn, need an entire summer of warm sunlight.
Basically, GDDs tell you exactly how old your crops are developmentally and how far they are from harvest-readiness.
Why are Growing Degree Day Calculations Important?
As a grower, you must be very aware of the exact GDD for your specific crops. First of all, you have a harvest to coordinate, and above all else, that is reliant on the plants being ready.
Additionally, understanding where your crops are developmentally can help you predict when certain insects or diseases could present themselves. With accurate GDD calculations, you can treat your crops with fertilizer, insecticide, and beyond more proactively to guarantee the greatest possible return.
Previous generations of farmers estimated these developmental milestones by watching the calendar, consulting the almanac, and keeping year-to-year records. Unfortunately, crops often failed for those hard-working growers because of variations in conditions that they couldn't measure.
Today, technology empowers growers to measure GDD with scientific accuracy, protecting harvests and eliminating the guesswork from farming.
The Davis Advantage
At Davis Instruments, we take pride in helping growers achieve a successful and reliable harvest. All it takes is a Davis weather station, a WeatherLink account, and the Mobilize app on your smartphone.
Mobilize gives you and your team members a truly actionable GDD report right on your smartphone, available on-demand 24/7.
To calculate GDD, Davis’ Mobilize app uses a choice of methods: single sine or integration. Both use the air temperature to assign each day after planting a heat value. The values are accumulated and compared to the target set by the grower.
Using Mobilize, growers can see exactly when their crop is approaching the GDDs needed for germination or maturity without even setting foot in the field. Greenhouse growers can use this information to precisely control their crop development.
Using the Mobilize App to Maximize Your Harvest
It is easy to set up your crop in the app. You select the planting date, specific crop type, base threshold, and target GDD.
Once set up, you can glance at your smartphone screen and see the percentage of progress toward the target as well as your crops' current GDD. You’ll see the target, the plant date, the GDD for the last 7 days, and the predicted GDD for the next 7 days.
This information gives you the ability to predict not just growth progress but when herbicides or insecticides should be applied for optimum activity, efficacy, and control. You will have a precise forecast of when root rot or other diseases can develop so you can take effective corrective measures. You will know when to fertilize and irrigate depending on growth stages. And you can accurately compare crop development over different years and locations.
Mobilize offers much more than GDD reports. By combining your own localized weather data from your own Davis weather station and the Mobilize app, you’ll also get decision-driving data and reports on pest management, irrigation, chilling hours, frost, and weather for each of your fields.
Get the Weather Data You Need to Grow
To learn more about how you can leverage monitoring technology to protect harvests and maximize yields, be sure to download our Davis Agricultural Weather Solution Buying Guide. This resource will teach you how to build a perfect agricultural monitoring system that will calculate your Growing Degree Days, monitor soil moisture, and beyond.