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Growing Degree Days (GDD)

The speed at which many of our crop plants move through their lifecycle can be tracked by the concept of Growing Degree Days (GDD).

Minnesota Ag Extension's pdf on Growing Degree Days is one of the best discussions of the topic we've found making it well worth the read.

A brief overview - a crop has a temperature base value which is the temperature below which its development stops. Subtracting the known temperature base value from the calculated GDD value informs the thermal time a plant has experienced. Knowing the thermal time allows the creation of a crop thermal calendar that more accurately predicts the progression of a crop through its lifecycle stages.