Information Requests Monitoring System

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Request ID: 129
Request From: Ron Stinner
Date Requested: Jun 21, 2005
Request: We've had a request from industry (CDMS) that I'd like a quick response on, if you have any idea. How much time does the average specialist spend on preparing his/her annual recommendations for Extension publications? Or at least a range? For my benefit, do specialists generally consider this time well spent, or simply one more task to be done? Any info would be greatly appreciated (and might at some future time actually help). Thanks, Ron

Responses
Responder: Michael Weaver
State: VA
Date Requested: Jun 21, 2005
Response: This depends on how many crops the specialist has in his or her area of responsibility and what crops. If he or she has to check multiple ornamental crops for instance, it might take much longer than someone who does a single crop annually. Crops (i.e. - fruit crops) with multiple covers might take longer than crops with a simple regimen of application. I had responsibilities for wine grape disease recommendations for about six years and it took about 2-3 days of work to put them together well. I do the same now for the safety, regulatory and technical chemical data in the front end of several of our guides right now. That work, in my opinion is easy compared to what most specialists have to do to revise their crop sections annually. When I wrote the grape disease recommendations, I suppose if I condensed the time down into hours, it would have been around 6-8 hours work, but the work wasn't done in one sitting because I had to check multiple sources for the information over a period of several days. I spend a similar amount of time now checking the safety and regulatory section of each guide annually as well. For an active extension and research program revising one's pest management recommendations is the culmination of the year's work to document what is new in a particular field of responsibility. The work is an integral and important part of any Extension program and a valuable tool to communicate the information in addition to winter grower meetings and talks. Often specialists work the release of these recommendations into their winter speaking circuit. So it is time very well spent, but no one likes to do it. The misery usually has to do with having a reliable set of resources to check the accuracy of the recommendations after you pull them together. Then there is the issue of worrying something won't be accurate or change drastically during the year rendering the publications inaccurate and opening your institution up to liability.

Responder: Charles Luper
State: OK
Date Requested: Jun 22, 2005
Response: For Oklahoma Specialists we estimate between 3-5 full working days for new information or revisions.

Responder: Ples Spradley
State: AR
Date Requested: Jun 23, 2005
Response: The specialists/researchers in Arkansas average 5-7 days a year working on our recommended chemical publications. We would consider this time well spent because these are some of our most useful and popular publications.

Responder: Doug Johnson
State: KY
Date Requested: Jun 24, 2005
Response: I HAVE NEVER REALLY MEASURED THE TIME BUT I WOULD GUESS BETWEEN 8-16 HRS. I WRITE THE COMPLETE INSECTICIDE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SOYBEAN, SMALL GRAINS, GRAIN SORGHUM AND THE STORED PRODUCT SECTION FOR FIELD & POP CORN. The time is mostly consumed with checking each entry for changes to the label. Less time looking for new products. Time well spent??? Lets see-- it is a necessary job but not very enlightening. Douglas W. Johnson, Extension Entomologist UK-IPM Coordinator UK-REC 1205 Hopkinsville St. Princeton, KY 42445-0469 Voice: 270/365-7541 x 214 Campus: 7-9503 x214 FAX: 270/365-2667 E-Mail: doug.johnson@uky.edu http://www.ca.uky.edu/entweb/

Responder: Tom Fuchs
State: TX
Date Requested: Jun 24, 2005
Response: In Texas, we rotate the responsibilities for actually writing control guides in various commodities. We also have a 2.5 day conference where we discuss recommendations regarding insect control in cotton, sorghum, corn, small grains etc. I am not sure how to estimate how much time the average specialist spends but I would say that most of us spend 3-5 days per year talking about changes in recommendations. We consider that an important function as this is one of the things that our clientele is most interested in. Tom Fuchs

Responder: Mark Mossler
State: FL
Date Requested: Jun 24, 2005
Response: At this point - I have had seven responses. The people represent extension specialty in citrus, turf, ornamentals, row crops, and veggies. In terms of days committed: 20-30, 5, 1-2, 4-5, 8, 12, 10. The mean would be about 10 days. All felt the time was well spent and worth it. Mark Mossler

Responder: Steve Toth
State: NC
Date Requested: Jun 24, 2005
Response: Responses from Extension Specialists, North Carolina State University: Entomology Department: I presume the recommendations in question are pesticide recommendations. With that assumption: 1. If you are talking about the actual process of preparing recommendations for publication (checking label changes, organizing information, drafting or revising, etc.), I would estimate I spend 10-20 hours yearly for one commodity. However, behind my recommendation is a relatively extensive program of field trials, review of literature, conversations with colleagues, etc. If all that is taken into account, then the answer is probably closer to 160 hours annually. 2. I do think that providing end users with accurate, useful information about pesticide choice and application is one of the things we are "supposed" to do. I also think it has a good bit of value. Thus, I consider it time well spent (though it can be tedious and frustrating at times). 3. The CDMS web site providing most pesticide labels has been VERY useful in the process of preparing recommendations and has shortened the process considerably, relieved the frustration to some degree, and improved the accuracy of the information I provide growers. 4. "Recommendations" is a bit nebulous. My recommendations include crop/pest choices and rates, relative efficacy ratings, information on run-off and leaching potential, mamallian toxicity info., re-entry restrictions, pre-harvest intervals, impact on beneficials, etc. Much of this does not, of course, change from year to year. Sterling Southern Just for the Ag Chem manual, I might spend an hour on my forage page. When I did the small grains page that might have been an added two hours. When I did the Ornamentals pages, that might have been an added 4 hours. Now just during the year on insect notes or questions, I probably spend two more hours. I check and read labels dozens of times during a year. I'm not quite sure about the second part of the question. I don't enjoy compiling all the chemical recommendations, but one has to do it for himself or for the publication. Access to labels is extremely important. Some companies don't make it easy, especially the home products. Steve Bambara Probably two hours and I view it as simply one more thing I have to do. Rick Brandenburg I spend the equivalent of about 6 work days revising fruit and vegetable pesticide recommendations for the Ag Chem Manual and Southeastern Apple Management Guide. It's a pain, but perhaps the most important job I do. This time estimate does not include conducting field trials that form the basis of the recommendations. Jim Walgenbach 2 weeks a year. More on tests to get data. Ken Sorensen I am the editor of Chapter 5 (Insect Control) of the North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual. While I don’t personally make recommendations for the Manual, I do spend at least one week of my time each year (conservative estimate) distributing, collecting, editing and delivering the various tables that are included in Chapter 5. About every 5 years, I am the Chair of North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual editorial committee, which requires additional time (2-3 extra days). Steve Toth Plant Pathology: I don't prepare a section on Ag. Chem. recommendations, just the section on submitting samples to the clinic. So I don't think this applies so much to me. I assume he's talking about chemical control recommendations. Tom Creswell Manager, Plant Disease and Insect Clinic North Carolina State University Annual updates to state fungicide recommendations (with no major changes) take about 2 to 4 hrs per commodity to do it right. I typically check latest versions of all labels to make sure they are still legal to use on the crop and the PHIs or use patterns have not changed, and I go through annual tech publications (like Fungicide and Nematicide Tests) to be sure I have the latest information. Quite a bit more time is required when major re-writes are needed (every 4-5 yrs) or when a new publication is developed. I think it is time well spent! I keeps me up to date and facilitates interaction with industry and with colleagues in other states. Bill Cline 8 - 16 hours per year. It's part of the job. CDMS is my main source for pesticide label information! I probably use their site at least once a week and during certain times of the year several times a day. Dave Ritchie I have never kept track of my time, but I do know it is an insane amount (of course with ornamentals, just figuring out which of the 4,000 species to include is problematic enough, and then to decide what diseases to include). Not so simple. I would estimate I spend in excess of 75 hours per year updating the Ag Chem Manual each year. Less time could be spent if the information could be typed directly into an online document and updated throughout the year rather than having to go through a third party and zillions of back and forth changes and approvals. Colleen Warfield Updating recommendations takes me probably 5-7 solid, 8-hour days. I think it's an important task because of how valuable it is to our clientele. However, I think the Ag Chem Manual is a dinosaur that is a nightmare to update by virtue of its structure (i.e., tables). For people with multiple crops within crop families (e.g., me), this problem is particularly severe. So, while I feel it is an important activity, I feel that it is mostly an exercise in rearranging complex tables. This is not a good use of my time and very prone to mistakes. This is utterly frustrating because it could be handled so much easier using some sort of database system. I think a few individuals could coordinate a national effort that would give everyone up-to-the-minute details on products labeled for use on any given commodity for any given state or county. Instead, we collectively invest enormous amounts of time in a product that ultimately falls short. Gerald Holmes Between the Ag Chem Manual for apples, grapes and brambles and SE Integrated Orchard Management Guide for apples, probably 1.5 days though when there is a substantial revision, such as brambles this year or something new - such as the SE Regional bunch grape guide - it takes more time. Maybe I should indicate an average of 2 days. Turner Sutton Crop Science: I consider it very important and I probably spend an average of a week/year on preparing these things. Fred Yelverton END

Responder: Steve Koenning
State: NC
Date Requested: Jun 27, 2005
Response: Time is well spent but a real task none-the-less. I spend about 24 hours a year on this. Steve Koenning Department of Plant Pathology North Carolina State University

Responder: Jack Bacheler
State: NC
Date Requested: Jun 27, 2005
Response: It takes me ~ 2 hours/year to do the recommendations updating, not including, of course all of the applied research the goes into these recommendations (primarily cotton in my case). It is somewhat of a chore but time well spent as our Agr. Chem. Manual is still widely regarded as the "Bible" for recommendations. Jack Bacheler Department of Entomology North Carolina State University

Responder: John Van Duyn
State: NC
Date Requested: Jun 27, 2005
Response: This is a difficult request to respond to. Pest recommendation evolve and for those of us that conduct field trials, work on thresholds, keep up with labels and restrictions, etc. time spent on development activities is considerable. Formalizing these recommendations (e.g. Ag Chem Manual and web pages), educating clientele, responding to requests, and conducting follow-up to see how recommendations work involves a great deal of time. I suspect that 20 to 25% of my time may be involved in some aspect of providing pest management recommendations. John Van Duyn Department of Entomology North Carolina State University

Responder: Ames Herbert
State: VA
Date Requested: Jun 27, 2005
Response: Ron, I assume you mean time spent on doing annual updates of production guides, etc, with pesticide recommendations?? I do the recommendations for 4 major crops (peanut, cotton, soybean, small grains). This involves 4 separate publications. I spend only about 2-3 hours on each - but that is because I try to stay abreast of label changes, new products, new rates, products or pests removed from labels, pests added to labels -- or in some cases, changes in pesticide usage or safety patterns. In other words, to create meaningful and up-to-date recommendations, I have to constantly pay attention to, and keep records of a lot of information - and it would be hard to estimate the time involved. Even more importantly, I do a lot of field testing in order to gain knowledge and confidence in my recommendations. When I put something in print, I want to know first hand how it performs against the pests labeled, at the rates labeled, compared to other options. This takes a lot of time and a continuous effort. As per the second question, YES I consider it time well spent. In fact, from my perspective, it is an important role for specialists. However, I do know that some specialists consider this role to be nothing more than a bothersome task. Unlike some, I view this as important and part of IPM. Knowing what and how much of something to use can save a lot of unnecessary pesticide use. I have witnessed many cases over the years where a poor choice had to be followed up by additional applications of the correct product. Ames Herbert Virginia Tech University

Responder: Frank Louws
State: NC
Date Requested: Jun 29, 2005
Response: Putting recommendations together is extremely important. Fulfilling industry/consultant requests for information is non-productive and there is more and more of it. I write many notes with recommendations. The total time is 10%, not including time to collect research-based information to generate the infomation. The research and writing to develop good recommedations runs 30%. Frank Louws Department of Plant Pathology North Carolina State University

Responder: Paul Guillebeau
State: GA
Date Requested: Jul 01, 2005
Response: I was only able to do a brief, informal survey since we are in the middle of the busy season. The folks with broadest responsibilities (e.g., vegetable insects or weeds) need as much as 100 hours to complete their recommendations. More commonly, probably about 40-50 hours.

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