Farm Visits Document Economic Impact

Paul Kassel, Crops Field Specialist, Northwest


There is a need for unbiased third party information for crop producers.  Farmers experience problems when herbicide damage, herbicide residue, frost damage (and others) interact to form complex problems.  Often a farm visit is needed to assess damage, document damage and recommend solutions based on sound agronomic science and experience.  Effective farm visits require sound judgment, experience and good communication skills by the FS/crops.  These farm visits show significant economic impact when one on one evaluations are used to document impact.

I made 56 farm visits in 2005 to assess crop problems in the field.  Some of these visits help to confirm something the farmers have observed and have no economic impact. Other visits have a large economic impact because they involve replant decisions, forage winterkill, spray drift damage, herbicide contamination damage or soil fertility recommendations.

I sent one-on-one evaluations to 24 farmers where there was significant effort, a need for documentation, and/or significant economic impact from my visit. Twenty-two were returned. The 22 surveys that were returned represented 1,875 acres. The farmers that returned the surveys operated a total of 19,214 acres. The impact from the farm visits on the 1,875 acres was $39,655. The impact was from a variety of things including replanting decisions from hail damage, early-season frost damage, alfalfa winterkill, and deep tillage comparisons. Some of the comments on the evaluations involved some feedback, like keep up the good work.  Other comments were, we were very satisfied with the advice we were given, and thanks for the follow up about possible herbicide damage to the beans.  Other comments were more direct and stated, he (Paul Kassel) is a very good source of information on many topics.

February 20, 2006
142 - Integrated Pest and Crop Management

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