ISUE Agronomists Email Update Valuable

Clarke McGrath, Crops Field Specialist, Southwest
 
Problem Statement:

Agricultural clients need access to crop and pest management information quickly and effectively throughout the year; most importantly in the growing season. While there are many sources of information for clients to use, Iowa State University Extension has the research based, most up-to-date recommendations the agricultural clients desire to make the most accurate economic and environmental decisions. With large geographic areas to cover, it is inefficient for the ISU Agronomist to visit every agronomist, retailer, and grower who may have a question.
 
Programmatic Response:

A series of e-mail updates are generated and sent directly to over 400 growers, retailers, consultants, agronomists, manufacturer reps, farm managers, and media personnel in Iowa. The updates are also posted on many county web pages in southwest Iowa, and on the area office website. Along with Iowa, the information finds its way to growers and dealers in Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, and South Dakota. An advantage of e-mail is the ability of the clientele to send back questions and get a rapid response, so an e-mail link is included on the Web-based version.  Over 50 issues were sent this past year, with an average of two per week in the growing season.  The updates are brief and easy to use, often containing links to more resources if the client needs additional information.  The ISU agronomists office and mobile phone numbers are included and over a thousand integrated crop management phone calls are taken each year by clients needing information.  Often the information is also posted in agribusinesses for customers to read, and is also included in many agribusiness newsletters.
 
Impact/Outcome:

Recently a survey was sent to the over 400 ag professionals and farmers that receive the ISUE Agronomists Update. They indicated that information provided through the email update saved them time and money.  The clients indicated the value of the integrated crop management information, due to increased production and more efficient input usage, at an average of over $3,200 per year.  Many clients forward the emails to other clients, with a conservative estimate of over 1,000 more clients being reached by this method.

Replies from clients of the newsletter-
 
Clarke, I just wanted you to know that your emails are incredibly useful, easy to use and timely. I do forward them to my agronomy staff and clients- keep up the great work! Thanks!! Ag Retail Manager
 
Your updates are still awesome, just like I told you last year. You always have timely info-even with a large and diverse trade area. When we run into problems, I always figure you will have an update on it, or I can call you on the cell to get help. Ag Retail Agronomist
 
Clarke- your being both a former coop agronomy manager and now the extension agronomist gives you such a great feel for what is going on in the country and what our needs are. This is how extension and farmers should work together; my clients and I really appreciate your efforts. Farmer and seed dealer
 

February 3, 2006
142 - Integrated Pest and Crop Management

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu