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Determining the Value of the World Wide Web in Providing Local Pest and Crop Conditions to Area Farms 1998

Project Leaders: Kevin Ganoe, Philip Sutton

Objectives:

1. Implement a five-county crop scouting program for the 1998 growing season on 12 farms.

2. Establish World Wide Web pages, updated weekly, that will make the crop and pest information gathered by the scouting program available on the Internet. A brief summary of this information will be e-mailed to producers providing their e-mail addresses.

3. Provide weekly updates to local newspapers and radio stations on the crop and pest information gathered by the scouting program.

4. Send out three mass mailings of the crop and pest information gathered by the scouting program to the total mailing list, and hold local meetings as needed to address pest concerns.

5. Assess the impact of the scouting program and the various means through which the information was disseminated through a random phone survey in the last week of August.

Results:

Clientele did use the web pages and did request to be sent e-mail of pest and crop conditions. Given the visibility in newsletters and newspapers and the large number of farms in the five counties, a higher request rate might have been expected. The fact that it was positive indicates that the Internet should be used to communicate to producers on pest and crop issues in the future. Other web pages of the Central New York Dairy Livestock and Field Crops Team, such as the team newsletter and feedstuff price evaluator, are also being requested, indicating that producers do desire local information.