Asparagus miner degree-day model now available on MSU Enviro-weather

The asparagus miner growing degree day model is now live on MSU Enviro-weather to help with scouting. Obtain real-time information about the abundance of adults, larvae and pupae in your fields.

The asparagus miner growing degree day model was developed at Michigan State University in the Vegetable Entomology laboratory over the past three years and is now available through MSU Enviro-weather. It can be used to predict the population dynamics of asparagus miner in fields throughout the year (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. The asparagus miner growing degree day model can help you guide management for this pest throughout the year.

The asparagus miner model contains information about the current insect life stages in the field and the forecast for when the next life stages will occur in the near future. Graphs displaying the population dynamics of different life stages help visually interpret the information (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. Example screen from the asparagus miner growing degree day model page containing information about various stages in its lifecycle. Actual page may vary slightly, depending on day selected.

Growing degree day accumulations start recording on March 1 each year and all degrees above the developmental minimum (53.7 degrees Fahrenheit) after this date will result in degree-day accumulations.

Here is a step-by-step guide to accessing and using the asparagus miner growing degree day model:

  1. Go to
  2. Select the weather station closest to your farm from the map.
  3. Click on “Vegetables” near the top of the page under “Tools for:”
  4. On the left side of the page, under “Resources for:” click on the folder called “Asparagus.”
  5. Click on the “Asparagus Miner” model link.
  6. Specify a date (current or past) to get current information about the various stages of the asparagus miner and click “Execute.”
  7. Current events for every stage will be specified, including adults, larvae and pupae; forecasts will be given for the next event in each stage of the lifecycle; and graphs will illustrate where we are in the year as far as the asparagus miner’s population dynamics for adults and immatures.

You can directly navigate to the model and bookmark it at the following link: Michigan State University Extension encourages you to use this as a guide to whether you spray a field for asparagus miner adults.

Further work in the Vegetable Entomology lab will be focused on developing systemic insecticides for use on asparagus to control the larval stages, as well as developing specific recommendations for when fields should be sprayed to obtain maximal control of asparagus miner populations using the least amount of product, thereby saving money and minimizing non-target environmental effects. Once appropriate windows for spraying are found, these will be added to the website for the asparagus miner model.

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