Email Crop Reports Receive High Ratings by Farmers

January - March 2003

Brian Lang , crops field specialist

Situation
Many producers have limited skills in scouting for crop nutrient and pest problems on a timely basis. Providing reminders to producers on what to look for and when, could greatly improve their timeliness of finding problems or realization that no problems exist, and then respond accordingly. Newsletters, articles in magazines and newspapers often cannot respond timely enough for producers to maximize economic returns to potentially developing problems.

Response
For the past 10 years, the Iowa State University Extension crop field specialist in northeast Iowa has used email crop reports referred to as “Crop Notes” to aid producers, agricultural providers, vocational agriculture educators and media in providing timely in-season crop management information. Reports are emailed on an as-needed basis. This could be weekly, monthly, or even daily depending on what crop situations arise.

Impact
The average number of “Crop Notes” contacts per season is over 10,000, with additional contacts occurring through media, agricultural suppliers and vocational agriculture educators that pass on this information to others. While the “Crop Notes” email participant list keeps growing at about 50 new clients per year, no one has ever asked to be removed from the list. The Maquoketa Watershed Project surveyed their producer clients last year on the usefulness of “Crop Notes” and other project components including: soil sampling, soil tests, manure inventories, nutrient program, nutrient demonstrations, and record keeping. They rated “Crop Notes” the highest of all of these components. The clients find this tool extremely useful.

 

Page last updated: July 10, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu