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How to Manage Pests

Degree-Days: Data File Formats

Format for data file for degree-day calculations

You may enter your own temperatures into a file and then use that file to calculate degree-days. Temperatures may be entered in Fahrenheit or Celsius; you will be asked to specify the units when you calculate degree-days.

Specific data file requirements

To be correctly interpreted, the following are requirements for the data file.

  • The file must be a text file.
  • Data values must be separated by either a comma or a tab character.
  • Be prepared to supply the position of date, minimum temperature and maximum temperature in a row. (The position must be the same for every row of data.)
    Note: Although you may supply a date, it is used only for your own documentation. Dates are ignored in the calculation, so the first record in the file is always the biofix or start date.
  • Each day's temperatures must be on a separate line in the file.
  • Any row in the file that begins with a double-quote mark (") or a single-quote mark (') will be treated as a comment and ignored in the calculations.

Preparing a data file using a spreadsheet program, such as Excel

  1. Open a new file.
  2. In separate columns, on a single row, enter the date (any format), minimum temperature, and maximum temperature for that date. Enter data for the next date directly below data for the first date. The line may contain other values; these will be ignored by the calculator. Annotate the file with comments by placing a double quote (") or a single-quote (') as the first character of the row.
  3. Save the file as a text file by selecting Save As... under the File menu. Supply a file name and select Text (tab delimited) or CSV (Comma delimited) under Save File as Type:.

Preparing a data file using a text editor or word processor

  1. Open a new file.
  2. On a single line, enter the date (any format), minimum temperature, and maximum temperature, separated by commas or tabs, for that date. Enter data for the next date directly below data for the first date. The line may contain other values; these will be ignored by the calculator. Annotate the file with comments by placing a double quote (") or a single-quote (') as the first character of the row.
    Note: Although you may supply a date, it is used only for your own documentation. Dates are ignored in the calculation, so the first record in the file is always the biofix or start date.
  3. Save the file as a text file. Usually, you'll need to select Save As... under the File menu. Supply a file name and specify Text for the file type, if applicable.

Sample data file

	"Sample data file for degree-days calculations -- comma-delimited."
	"Note: data values may also be tab-delimited (e.g. 'Save As Text (Tab-delimited)' from"
	"      an Excel spreadsheet."
	"This line is a comment."
	'This line is a comment, too.'
	" A comment is any quoted line -- either single or double."
	""
	"var 1 = date;  var2 = min temp;  var3 = max temp;  all temps Fahrenheit."
	"Note: DATE value is any string of characters (except comma, in a comma-delimited file)."
	Mar 15 2000,44,77
	Mar 16 2000,50,71
	Mar 17 2000,34,74
	Mar 18 2000,47,77
	Mar 19 2000,44,74
	Mar 20 2000,44,70
	Mar 21 2000,37,79
	"A comment can be inserted anywhere in the file -- they are ignored."
	"Note: blank lines are also ignored."
	Mar 22 2000,43,73
	Mar 23 2000,45,70
	Mar 24 2000,39,72
	Mar 25 2000,41,72
	Mar 26 2000,40,78
	Mar 27 2000,47,64
	Mar 28 2000,46,70
	Mar 29 2000,38,75
	Mar 30 2000,39,77
	Mar 31 2000,39,84

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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