Frequently Asked Questions

If the following answers do not help, please reach out to us for support at info@perennia.ca. If your question is urgent, please contact the relevant specialist directly.

How do I download diagnostic reports for Davis Instruments?2024-01-29T16:00:11-04:00

If your weather station has been experiencing issues such as intermittently going offline or staying offline for long periods, you may be asked by either the Perennia technician or a tech support agent at Davis to download a series ofdiagnostic reports from your Davis Vantage Pro 2 gateway. View the guide on how to accomplish this here.

How do I download data from my Davis Weather Station?2024-02-01T15:57:05-04:00

Sometimes, you may want to download your data so that you can look at it using a spreadsheet/statistical program like Excel. Find the instructions on how to do that here.

Do I need to do any maintenance on my Davis Weather Station?2024-02-01T15:59:54-04:00

To prolong the life of the station, Davis Instruments recommends doing a thorough cleaning and inspection of your station at least once a year. Download this guide for a recommended annual maintenance routine to help you get the most out of your station.

Why do I need to create an account to access the application?2023-04-12T14:51:46-04:00

Our application is built with user accounts that allow you to save information about fields and weather stations for use when running the models. Users have access to free models after account creation and have the option to purchase models. Preset information is required to send alerts to users.

Why should I set up a farm and fields?2023-04-12T14:51:40-04:00

Farms and fields are set up in user settings to define the crop type, local weather station, and forecast weather station. The information is required to run certain models.

Does the application work on smartphones?2023-04-12T14:51:35-04:00

Yes! The application lives on the internet so it can be used from any device that has access to the internet. Farm Data Tools was built so that the design is responsive to the size of the device being used.

Can I receive alerts for model thresholds?2023-04-12T14:51:30-04:00

Yes. The PomeBlight model has alerting functionality that is set up in your profile settings. Alerts can be a daily digest or for only exceeding thresholds.

What models are included for free?2023-04-12T14:51:22-04:00

Currently the Farm Weather model is free. It is an interactive map that allows you to view all available weather stations. You can also calculate growing degree days during specific time periods.

How can I change the working year?2023-04-12T14:56:47-04:00

Choose the date under ‘Growing Year’. The current year offers current conditions and a summary of the forecast. Historic years offer the data from what happened previously. Data is available for only years in which a subscription was held.

Can I export the data?2023-04-12T14:56:43-04:00

Yes, in the heading next to the forecast and historical records there is the option to download the CSV file.

How often is the model re-calculated?2023-04-12T14:56:38-04:00

Every time you make a change or every time the weather station sends new information. This means that an infection prediction could change based on your changes or observed or forecast conditions. The last time that a weather station reported is stated within current conditions if you hover over the ‘i’ icon.

If the forecast for today is +15C but then the actual temperature is +16C, will the observed tem-perature overwrite the forecast temperature?2023-04-12T14:56:34-04:00

Yes. Actual conditions that exceed the expected conditions will overwrite the forecast values.

Why doesn’t the forecast line up exactly with the Environment Canada daily predictions?2023-04-12T14:56:29-04:00

Environment Canada does not report the daily maximum and minimum temperatures that are required by the PomeBlight model. Environment Canada reports the low nighttime temperature from 5 PM to 5 AM and the high daytime temperature from 5 AM to 5 PM. We know that the morning temperatures are most likely the coldest in a day. Therefore, we have shifted the forecast to use the previous day’s nighttime low temperature with the current day’s daytime high temperature.

If another user in my business updates the temperature, spray, or other parameter in the model, does it update my model as well?2023-04-12T14:56:24-04:00

No, you have separate user accounts on the same subscription that share the farm and field structure but everything else is independent. It was designed this way to prevent unwanted changes between users that could cause unintended consequences. Account users are in charge of their own changes.

Why is the wetness requirement sometimes satisfied when it has not rained today?2023-04-12T14:56:18-04:00

More than 2.5 mm of rain one day will satisfy the requirement for wetting on the following day because water stays in the base of the flower. In this case, the model has an asterisk next to 0 mm of rainfall on the current date.

Why are some data values red?2023-04-12T14:56:12-04:00

The blossom blight infection risk level depends on four factors:1) bud stage, 2) EIP, 3) wetting and 4) average temperature. When a data value associated with any of the four factors exceeds its threshold limit, it will turn red to indicate that the risk factor has been met. Pay attention to the missing factors because they help to determine your risk if you can estimate their likelihood of happening.

Why are the infection risks coloured?2023-04-12T14:56:07-04:00

The infection risk levels of low, moderate, high and infection are coloured for emphasis. Low is green, moderate is yellow, high is orange and infection is red.

An INFECTION was predicted by the model but I input an antibiotic spray, so why is the infection risk still HIGH?2023-04-12T14:56:03-04:00

Remember, the blossom blight infection risk level depends on four factors:1) blossom, 2) EIP greater than 100, 3) wetting and 4) warm average temperature. The risk level depends on how many of the four factors have been met. One factor = low, two factors = moderate, three factors = high, and four factors = infection. The EIP is an important factor to pay attention to because it represents the bacterial population. If EIP is at or near 100 then bacterial levels are expected to cause epidemic levels of infection. An antibiotic spray kills the bacteria, so antibiotics set the EIP to zero and the infection risk is averted, even though three other factors are still present.

Can we micromanage fire blight?2023-04-12T14:55:56-04:00

No. The model is a daily model, not an hourly model. A prediction of the bacterial population (EIP) is therefore made for the entire day, taking into account the forecast maximum and minimum temperatures. When it takes 12 hours or more to spray an entire orchard, hourly predictions are not often helpful anyway. Also keep in mind that the model is a daily snapshot whereas bacterial growth is a continuum. With such risk and uncertainty, protection is the best option when called for.

How do I choose the first blossom date and does it matter?2023-04-12T14:55:51-04:00

The first blossom date is the day that the first blossom opens in your orchard. The date will matter for about the first four days until the model assumes that the early flowers are old and no longer hospitable to bacterial growth. The model continues to predict for all subsequent flowers that develop and it becomes synchronized with equal EIP risk.

If I make edits to the forecast, do they overwrite the predicted forecast?2023-04-12T14:55:46-04:00

YES. To return to the current forecast, select undo on the changes that you made.

What if I observed a very light rain that was not recorded by the weather station?2023-04-12T14:55:41-04:00

You cannot edit precipitation in the historical records. However, you can satisfy the wetting requirement by inputting a dew instead.

How important is a dew for the infection risk?2023-04-12T14:55:36-04:00

Heavy dew creates a channel of water on a high proportion of flowers, more so than even a light rain. Bacteria require a channel of water to move down the flower, so the risk from a dew is significant. Watch for low areas of the orchard where heavy dew is most common.

How do you input a spray into the daily model if it’s applied from 11 PM to 2 AM?2023-04-12T14:55:31-04:00

The model is not sensitive enough to allow us to enter the time when an antibiotic was sprayed, only the day. For night-time sprays, choose the earlier day for a conservative approach. By spraying at night, you are protecting the flowers that opened earlier that day and not the flowers that have yet to open when the new day begins. On any newly opened flowers, the internal flower parts will not have been sprayed directly to protect against bacterial growth.

Is the EIP value relevant during trauma events?2023-04-12T14:55:27-04:00

No. After ooze becomes active, trauma events are always cause for concern because bacteria are transported from active infections to open wounds. EIP is the epiphytic infection potential of Erwinia amylovora. Epiphytic growth happens during the floral phase of fire blight so the EIP is modeling only the epiphytic growth phase on blossoms.

Is the temperature relevant during trauma events?2023-04-12T14:55:22-04:00

No. Bacterial populations contained in rehydrated ooze can be delivered to open wounds regardless of the temperature. Temperature matters for blossom blight risk because bacteria rely on heat to grow on the floral stigma. Whereas for trauma blight, the source of the bacteria is active infections that already have excessive bacterial populations contained in ooze.

Does water wash away bacteria?2023-04-12T14:55:17-04:00

No. Bacteria use water to disperse and colonize new flowers. The model does not reset after a rain because there is still a lot of bacteria present. Rain also helps to maintain bacterial survival. Sometimes a rain will correspond with cooler temperatures in which case it is actually the cooler temperatures that are responsible for less bacterial growth.

When are flowers no longer at risk of a blossom blight infection?2023-04-12T14:55:13-04:00

As flowers age, the stigmas become less susceptible hosts for the bacteria Erwinia amylovora. Yet, late blooms are especially important because bacterial populations have had time to build throughout bloom and bees have broadly dispersed the bacteria in the landscape. Petal fall on the entire tree is the only time we can be sure that the bacteria cannot grow on stigmas to be washed into the flowers. Therefore, flower protection until petal fall is recommended.

Who developed the model?2023-04-12T14:55:08-04:00

The Maryblytä model was originally developed by Paul Steiner and Gary Lightner with many collaborations and independent validations from researchers*. The model and user interface included in your subscription has been designed and tested by MedTech Analytics and Perennia’s Software Development team with input and several years of review by Tree Fruit Specialist Michelle Cortens, MSc. P.Ag.

* Turechek, W. W., and Biggs, A. R. 2015. Maryblyt v. 7.1 for Windows: An improved fire blight forecasting program for apples and pears. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-RS-14-0046.

Can I receive alerts for model thresholds?2023-04-12T14:55:03-04:00

Yes. Visit your profile settings and scroll down to PomeBlight. There you can edit how often you receive alerts, the wind gust threshold, the EIP threshold and the risk threshold.

How can PomeBlight help me monitor for trauma events caused by wind?2023-04-12T14:54:59-04:00

According to the Beaufort wind scale, 62 km/hr can cause twigs to break off trees. It is recommended that leaf tissue be checked for damage after wind gusts of 60 km/hr. PomeBlight alerts include notifications for high wind speed that could suggest trauma to the leaves.

How do I calculate growing degree days for a particular weather station?2023-04-12T14:54:53-04:00

On the map, find your weather station and then click on it. A window opens where you can input Tmax, Tmin, and Tbase with a chosen start and end date.

What are Tmax, Tmin and Tbase?2023-04-12T14:54:47-04:00

Tmax = daily maximum temperature; Tmin = daily minimum temperature; Tbase = base temperature threshold (based on your Growing Degree Day model of interest, e.g. 10°C)

How are the growing degree days calculated?2023-04-12T14:54:42-04:00

The application uses the Averaging Method for calculating GDD and other methods may be added later.

How can I connect a Davis weather station that is not already on the network?2023-04-24T08:07:55-04:00

To learn how to add a Davis weather station to the network, download this document.

Why are only Davis weather stations supported at this time?2023-04-12T17:45:15-04:00

Weather stations from different providers relay their data in unique formats. As an analogy, consider that a brand of weather station speaks a single language. Our software programmers must feed that data into our models, and a single language reduces the complexity. Davis weather stations were installed throughout the province of Nova Scotia with provincial funding and they make up the largest local network across farms. In the future, there might be an opportunity to support a limited number of other weather stations.

Where does the weather forecast come from and what are the general rules for including weather elements in the forecast?2023-04-12T17:45:25-04:00

The weather forecast is from Environment Canada. They provide the latest weather, 24 hr detailed forecast and seven day forecast for locations across Canada. The general rules for weather elements are defined by Environment Canada on their website: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/types-weather-forecasts-use/public/guide/elements.html

Is the data from all local weather stations on this network reliable and maintained?2023-04-12T17:48:23-04:00

No. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the data. Davis weather station owners have willingly made their data publicly accessible on this platform. The weather station owners are responsible for their own maintenance. However, all weather stations with the provincial designation (NS000) were installed according to standards and maintenance plans were recommended. The network of NSFGA weather stations owned by the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association are serviced on contract by Perennia.

How can I connect a Davis weather station that is not already on the network?2023-04-12T17:45:44-04:00

All weather stations installed under the provincial program are already on the network. Any account holder is authorized to add a connection to a Davis weather station that you own. On your account settings at app.farmdatatools.ca, go to Businesses, access the Business settings gear. Under the Business Settings tab, scroll down to weather stations and choose to add a new weather station. Enter the API Key and API Secret. The API Key and Secret are found on your Davis Instruments account at weatherlink.com under your account settings. Use API Key V2. After you have connected using these keys, DO NOT generate a new key at any time as it will disrupt the connection.

How do I gain access to a model?2023-04-12T17:49:35-04:00

Free models are immediately available to account holders. A subscription to a paid model must be purchased by a farm business and applied to the account of the main account holder. A farm business can be accessed by up to 3 users on the current license (contact us if more users are needed). The main account holder may invite up to 2 other users from the same farm to the farm business’ subscription.

Is the license to a model a one-time purchase or an annual subscription?2023-04-12T17:49:44-04:00

The license to a model is an annual subscription. The annual subscription is designed to cover the annual costs of running (server costs etc.) and maintaining (software development) each model.

How do I change my password?2023-04-12T17:49:52-04:00

On your account at app.farmdatatools.ca, access your profile settings. There you can enter your current password to then set a new password. Otherwise, on the sign-in page select ‘forgot password’ and enter the email address for the account to send a reset code to the email address.

How do I choose a weather station for a field?2023-04-12T17:50:06-04:00

On your account at app.farmdatatools.ca, access your business settings. The setup process for creating a field will ask you to select a weather station. It can be changed in field settings later.

How do I change the name of my business?2023-04-12T17:50:18-04:00

On your account at app.farmdatatools.ca, access your business settings and the gear at the top right corner. Within the business settings you can change the business details and then save the business.

How do I set up separate account users?2023-04-12T17:51:47-04:00

On your account at app.farmdatatools.ca, access your business settings. On the specific business where you wish to add users, select the gear at the top right corner. Select the tab ‘Users’. Then select to ‘+ New User’. Enter the email address that the new user wishes to use to sign into their account.

What is the role of an administrator versus a user?2023-04-12T17:52:02-04:00

An administrator can edit, add or delete the business, farm, and field settings. Users cannot edit, add or delete the organization, farm, and field settings. Both administrators and users can use the model, and receive alerts and edit their individual alert thresholds.

How is a farm defined?2023-04-12T17:52:15-04:00

A farm is a single civic address or region within which there are subcategories of fields. Most businesses have only one farm. Some businesses have multiple farm locations and this option is included to help them separate the regions.

How is a field defined?2023-04-12T17:52:34-04:00

A field is a single crop type with a single weather station. Set up fields in the way that you want to use them to monitor pest risk in models. If you want to monitor a specific crop variety in a model then name it separately. For example, ‘Field 1 – Early varieties’ and ‘Field 1 Late varieties’. However, specific crop varieties are not required.

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