Growing Degree Days - a better way to plan

Most farm management decisions on plant development are made based on a calendar.   The problem with this approach is that it's not reliable; no two calendar years are the same.   Agronomists have known for many years that a much better way to make plant development decisions is to measure 'growing degree days'  (GDDs) which are a measure of the total heat your plant has been exposed to.   Knowing this allows you to predict the growth stages, and when the crop will mature.  A study by the Montana State University claims that making decisions based on growing degree days instead of calendar days can reduce the potential error from plus or minus nine calendar days to just two or three calendar days!   The precision of predicting a specific crop stage, relative to insect and weed cycles, permits better management.

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The traditional approach to using GDDs is to estimate the values.   This is typically done by taking the maximum and minimum temperature values for each day, and working out an 'average' daily temperature from these.  Unfortunately, that's a really unreliable way to calculate GDDs.   Fortunately, with modern sensor technology, we can easily and more accurately track GDD values and make these available to you.   From your dashboard you can qurery how many GDDs have passed since you planted, which gives you a good means of estimating crop lifecycle events.