Project Team: Northwest U.S. Agriculture Team
Team Location: NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
Idamis Del Valle-Martinez
Dr. Kenton Ross (NASA DEVELOP National Science Advisor)
United States Agriculture Spring 2014 Team
Washington State is the number one apple producer in the United States, providing 70 percent of the nation’s apples. The current climate in Washington is favorable for apple production; however, as temperatures rise it also becomes more suitable for many apple pests. The codling moth’s (Cydia pomonella) suitable habitat is likely to expand its range in Washington with rising temperatures, placing more orchards at risk of infestation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has shown interest in codling moth distribution because the moth has a well-defined temperature range for development, between 10 and 30 degrees Celsius. Using Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Land Surface Temperature (LST) from 2003 to 2013, growing degree days (GDD) for insect development were calculated for the codling moth to show current at-risk areas. Further, inclusion of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) multi-model ensemble forecasted climate changes for 2045 and 2065 were used to determine future pest ranges. Final products show that rising temperatures will allow codling moth ranges to move closer to the Cascades mountain range and further north. Additionally, a rise in temperature will allow more growth time for the moth each summer, ultimately leading to larger pest populations. The current and long-range forecast risk maps benefit orchard managers by improving pest management and better handling of current orchards.