Internet-based Decision Tools for Orchard Pest Management—Adoption in the Hood River Valley of Oregon

in HortTechnology
View More View Less
  • 1 Oregon State University Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 2990 Experiment Station Drive, Hood River, OR 97031.

The Internet has expanded access to real-time decision tools for pest management in agriculture. Starting in 2000, site-specific weather data and decision tools for key insect pests and diseases became available through the Internet to fruit growers and pest control advisors (PCAs) in the Hood River Valley of Oregon. Adoption of these decision tools was supported by educational programs conducted by extension. In this study, surveys were conducted to assess the importance of different sources of pest management information and the adoption of four Internet-based pest management decision tools by fruit growers and PCAs in the Hood River Valley. Growers relied on diverse sources for pest management information and ranked PCAs as the most important source for making pest management decisions. Grower use of the Internet-based pest management decision tools was relatively low despite computer ownership and Internet use that were higher than national trends. Growers preferred the website that provided the most complete access to up-to-date weather data and pertinent pest and disease models, despite somewhat less streamlined access. PCA use of the decision tools was proportionately higher, and included greater use of additional websites. Both growers and PCAs considered use of the Internet tools to have important benefits on pest management programs. In the Hood River Valley, fruit growers had access to technology-driven decision support tools, but continued to rely on more traditional information sources, particularly PCAs, for making pest management decisions. In view of trends in shrinking extension resources, these results suggest that the most efficient use of time and potential for greatest impact can be derived from focusing educational efforts on PCAs.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 63 11 2
PDF Downloads 87 29 8