You may have noticed that site names for the SWD*VMN are coded by county followed by a generic number. I have also shared monitoring data online for the Grape Root Borer*Volunteer Monitoring Network (GRB*VMN) and for blueberry insect monitoring programs run by my laboratory, again with sites identified to the county level. I had a request via the comments on this blog for more detailed location information for one of our SWD*VMN monitoring sites. Because of this request, I wanted to clarify that it is my policy not to provide any geographic information about trapping locations below county. The reason for this policy is two fold:
1. County is a established level for displaying insect (or other invasive organism) detection information. See the National Agricultural Pest Information System for an example, and
2. All of our monitoring networks represent a patchwork of public & private and commerical & non commerical land. Because some commerical fruit growers have generously to allowed us, county extension agents, or others to trap on their land or have contributed their trapping data to our networks, we do not want to risk any potential harm to their business by sharing more information than necessary with the public.
The purpose of sharing insect monitoring data online is to provide information growers, homeowners, and other stakeholders can use in making management decisions. It is not intended to replace site specific monitoring by growers or homeowners. Just because an insect is being trapping in your county does not mean that it is present on your farm. Knowing exact trapping sites within a county would not change this. Insect activity in your county does suggest, however, that it would be wise for you to go out and check your plants. Insect trapping data is also not intended for use by regulators or consumers. Just because adult insects are active at sites does not necessarily mean that damage to crops is occurring.
Eagle eyed readers may have noticed that I will occasionally name a site when posting about trapping data. I only do this for sites at state and/or university run research stations, like New Hanover 1, which is located at the Horticultural Crops Research Station near Castle Hayne, NC. Because research stations are non commerical operations, identifying these sites does not compromise grower cooperator privacy.