Unifying resistance management education for vegetable and fruit production in the Northeast

Final report for ENE15-140

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2015: $91,512.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2018
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
Project Leader:
Dr. Hilary Sandler
UMass Cranberry Station
Expand All

Project Information

Summary:

This 2-year Professional Development project conducted by a 4-member team of educators and researchers from MA and NY helped improve and unify educational efforts by Northeast Extension personnel on the subject of pesticide Resistance Management (RM) for specialty crop growers.

Selection and use of available pesticides, with varied modes of action (MoA), must be correct and judicious to forestall or avoid development of resistance by weeds, insects and pathogens. The consequences of resistance development include marginal or ineffective pest control for growers and applications of greater amounts of pesticides. Farmers need accurate technical support to help them manage pesticides to reduce resistance, but Northeast service providers were not well prepared to provide that support.

In a 2014 pre-project survey of 112 Extension personnel, 52% of respondents (n=54) felt marginally or not at all prepared to teach growers about RM.  Only 44% rated their knowledge of RM as good or excellent; knowledge of pesticide MoA was even lower. Several respondents commented specifically that RM and MoA training was critical and highly needed for the Northeast. Further documentation of need came from results of a pre-project stakeholder survey of 41 growers that indicated the primary way specialty crop growers receive information about RM is through educational efforts by Extension personnel.

This project addressed the needs of the extension community through several professional development activities. A 4-part webinar series (overview, fungicide, insecticide and herbicide RM) was held with 181 participants, half of whom were Extension personnel and the remainder included industry consultants (14), government employees (27), University personnel (11) and farmers (4). A Moodle resource platform allowed participants to reinforce concepts at their own pace and encouraged networking. Participants also received a slide presentation (Core Module; CM) based on the information from the webinar series that could be used in their education programs “as is” or tailored to fit any particular audience. A video of the CM was also developed and distributed. Extension personnel reported that the video was useful for training growers and also was an asset for convenient individual reinforcement.

End-of-project surveys and interviews documented that a total of 34 Extension personnel and other service providers, considered Primary Beneficiaries (PB), from 10 Northeastern states used information learned through the trainings to teach and support specialty crop growers. The project team retrieved detailed information from 21 PB regarding their RM outreach. These educators led 28 workshops and gave 41 presentations on RM, reaching more than 2,500 Secondary Beneficiaries (primarily growers). Eighteen PB provided one-one-one RM education to more than 100 growers. Five PB gave surveys to their audiences to gauge the impact of the RM education.

Based on the end-of-project survey of 53 PB, 85% participated in the webinar series, 21% used the Moodle Platform, and 21% used or adapted the CM for their stakeholders; 23% watched the CM video. 84% said their understanding and awareness of RM was greater than at the beginning of the project.  Half of the respondents worked alone but for those that worked with colleagues, 90% reported that the products generated by the project helped them to unify their educational outreach. The resources generated by this grant also increased the confidence of PBs to teach MoA (84%), assist with development of rotational programs (76%), help growers establish a whole-farm RM plan (60%), identify improper RM strategies (80%), suggest nonchemical techniques (86%) and work with colleagues to deliver RM (59%).

Performance Target:

After participating in on-line webinar and Moodle sessions on the principles and practices of RM within an IPM context, 25 Extension and agricultural industry personnel from 8 Northeastern states develop crop-specific training modules and materials to transfer this knowledge to 800 Northeast specialty crop growers who farm 36,000 acres.

Introduction:

Resistance of pests to chemicals is known to occur in over 500 insect species, 270 weeds, and 150 plant pathogens. A unified regional approach is critical for the Northeast because pests know no boundaries and the potential for interstate movement of resistant pests is very real. Extension and industry personnel must be coordinated in their resistance management (RM) messages; conflicting information would cause confusion and growers may simply default to familiar pesticide choices.  Having a unified approach for RM will promote sustainability and stability across varied crops within the Northeast because managers will have the tools available to ensure the long-term utility of registered pesticides. Despite the number of compounds that can be used, growers tend to rely on certain set of pesticides to control the majority of pests. The development of pesticide resistance will cost the 8-state Northeast region at least $15.9-$39.9M per year, the monies associated with the need to apply more pesticides just to combat resistance.

In a Sept 2014 survey, 50 of 54 Extension respondents were concerned about RM issues, but 52% felt they were marginally or not at all prepared to teach about RM. Only 44% rated their knowledge of RM as good or excellent; pesticide mode of action (MoA) knowledge was much lower with only 21-30% expressing confidence on the three main pesticide disciplines. However, 90% were moderately or highly motivated to learn about RM and pesticide MoA and equally motivated to teach that information to their grower constituents.  Only 24% rated their current suite of educational materials on RM as good or excellent, documenting the need to develop better tools for educating growers about RM.  Just 1/3 of respondents routinely include RM information in their workshops. Webinars and workshops are the preferred methods for receiving RM education.  Several educators wrote specifically that RM and MoA training was critical and highly needed for the Northeast.

This problem was addressed through a multi-pronged educational training for extension specialists and industry personnel who dispense pest management advice. Webinars provided interactive, educational forums on the basic principles of RM and MoA and highlighted areas of special concern for Northeastern agriculture.  In addition to providing additional training through a Moodle platform, a slide presentation (core module) and a video of RM information was developed and utilized by Northeast educators.  Follow-up surveys and interviews documented impacts and changes in behavior as a result of the educational efforts.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Katherine Ghantous
  • Laura McDermott
  • Martha Sylvia

Educational Approach

Educational approach:
  1. Recruitment

Invitations to participate in the on-line education program were extended via email or phone to Extension specialists who participated in the preliminary RM survey [1] and to industry personnel, scouts, and agricultural suppliers in the region.  Additional educators were invited via list serves for commodity/pest working groups as well as personal referrals.  Webinars were advertised through specialty crop Extension newsletters and networks.  Applicants were asked to complete a baseline RM knowledge survey that assessed their intent to participate in the on-line education program, working groups, module development, verification, and grower outreach programs.

 

  1. Delivery methods

Over a 1-month period, beneficiaries attended four 1-hour “train-the-trainer” webinars conducted by 3 experts, augmented by Moodle resource platform, hosted and archived by Cornell.  After the participatory training, a core module (in PowerPoint) and a video on RM and MoA (both developed by Key Individuals) was sent electronically to all trainees.  Key Individuals identified state/commodity/pest working groups (members) among the beneficiaries, where stakeholder issues were identified. Working with Key Individuals, beneficiaries tailored or used "as is" the core module to meet specific grower needs.  Trained beneficiaries announced workshops and field days and incorporated the module and video into outreach events for specialty crop growers. Conference calls and face-to-face meetings were conducted to achieve these goals. A Certificate of Completion was issued to participants who completed on-line education, grower transfer, and verification. 

Key Individuals solicited RM presentations for the NY Expo and New England Fruit and Vegetable Conference (NEFVC), which attract a diverse regional grower and industry audience.  Growers received education through field days, workshops, newsletters, IPM alerts, extension publications, and web sites. Surveys attempted to gauge on-farm incorporation of RM knowledge.  Growers received one-on-one consulting with trained personnel to develop workable RM/IPM plans that adequately control pests.

 

  1. Curriculum topics.

The Resistance Management (RM) trainings conducted by the project team included the topics below. 

  1. i) Overview of RM:
  • Defining resistance, why it is important to manage; discussion of RM strategies and practice across disciplines; special concerns for diversified growers.
  1. ii) Fungicide Resistance:
  • Fungicide modes of action, resistance in pathogens, predictors for resistance development; current status of pathogen resistance in Northeast; how to manage disease and resistance concerns.
  1. iii) Herbicide Resistance:
  • What is herbicide resistance and how can it be avoided; current status of weed resistance to herbicides in the Northeast; how to identify and manage herbicide resistance in the field.
  1. iv) Insecticide Resistance:
  • History and status in Northeast; classification by underlying mechanism; genetics; using a multi-pronged approach to forestall resistance; use of refugia.

Milestones

Milestone #1 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

1) 200 Northeast Extension and industry personnel receive announcements and are invited to participate in on-line RM training. Sept-Nov 2015.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
200
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
1050
Proposed Completion Date:
November 30, 2015
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
November 30, 2015
Accomplishments:

 

All State Extension offices in the NE-SARE region were contacted and asked to distribute the announcement flyer (uploaded to SARE reporting portal) to their departments.  This included Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.

Crop Commodities Regional Specialists List for Cornell University (ca. 45 people)

Northeastern Berry Call-in list (ca. 50 people)

Flyers were distributed at Cornell in-service events held in Oct-Nov (ca. 100 people)

We also contacted Northeastern Weed Science Society (NEWSS, ca. 400 on mailing list), Northeastern American Society of Horticultural Science (NEASHS, ca. 100 people on mailing list), and Northeast American Phytopathological Society (NEAPS, ca. 315 people on mailing list) and asked them to distribute the flyer to their memberships.

We contacted Northeastern chemical representatives individually and asked them to share the info with their colleagues (Arysta, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, Gowan, Monsanto, Nufarm, Syngenta, UPI, and Valent).  The announcement may have reached 30-40 people within the chemical industry community.

Both SARE and NE-IPM Center announced the webinar series on their respective web sites.

Even with some overlap of membership lists, we estimate flyers sent through these mailing lists reached ca. 800 different people. Although we do not have exact numbers for distribution, we are confident we met the milestone of inviting 200 personnel and likely exceeded our target.

 

 

Milestone #2 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

2) 75 beneficiaries, including Key Individuals, participate in on-line course (4 webinars and Moodle) to augment and reinforce knowledge about MoA and RM.  Dec 2015-Feb 2016.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
75
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
181
Proposed Completion Date:
February 29, 2016
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
December 10, 2015
Accomplishments:

Video links for the 4 webinars are listed below but can be found on the UMass Cranberry Station YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1kf2B42HAjoGrRwUCoU9hQ.

181 total individuals from 27 states, 3 Canadian provinces and 3 additional countries participated in the 4 project webinars in 2015. The demographics of webinar participants is listed later.

Titles and participant numbers for each webinar were:

Webinar 1: Introduction to General Principles of RM (McGrath), 74 participants
Webinar 2: Fungicide RM (McGrath), 78 participants
Webinar 3: Insecticide RM (Alyokhin), 39 participants*
Webinar 4: Herbicide RM (Bonanno), 47 participants

Multi-webinar participation was a strength of the project.

16 people attended 4 webinars
24 people attended 3 webinars
31 people attended 2 webinars
40 people attended 1 webinar

Webinar participants included a diverse group of agricultural service providers, university, agency and non-profit professionals, and a few farmers.

Participants by Affiliation:
53 Extension personnel
14 Industry/Consultants
11 Federal government (EPA, USDA, IR-4)
11 University personnel
11 Canadian government/research
5 State government
4 Farmers
2 Non-profit representatives       

The webinars were held Monday November 30, Thursday December 3, Monday December 7, and Thursday December 10 in the order and on the topics as noted above.  The webinars were hosted by Cornell University and lasted for approximately 1 hour each (2:30-3:30 EST).  The webinars were archived on the Moodle platform housed on Cornell Cooperative Extension Distance Learning Center (http://moodle.cce.cornell.edu/RME101).  The webinars are also available on YouTube: General overview (1): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1KwmEOtLvs&list=PL1EC8bUjtR06UVpSu-1-nb-LdBq6t9-V8&index=1; Fungicides (2): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYQg8PMFlWQ&index=3&list=PL1EC8bUjtR06UVpSu-1-nb-LdBq6t9-V8; Insecticides (3): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOECQUl27F0&index=4&list=PL1EC8bUjtR06UVpSu-1-nb-LdBq6t9-V8; Herbicides (4): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LycGVxxgh_8&list=PL1EC8bUjtR06UVpSu-1-nb-LdBq6t9-V8&index=2.  These webinars were viewed 487, 374, 313, and 248 times, respectively as of June 19, 2018.

*We had a technical glitch on the Insecticide RM webinar.  The recording was made for the first 6 minutes but then aborted.  Dr. Alyokhin was kind enough to repeat the webinar so the entire presentation could be archived on the Moodle.  We extended an invitation to all registrants to attend the “re-do”.  Six (6) people attended the repeated webinar.   The participant number of 39 was based on the saved chat information and poll data from the first insecticide RM presentation and the repeated webinar. 

Demographics of Webinar Registrants (181 total):
Profession/Affiliation
70 Extension personnel
21 University personnel (U.S.)
15 Environmental Protection Agency
14 Canadian government
12 U.S. chemical company representatives
10 Growers
7 State government
6 Businesses; Individuals
5 Consultants
4 IR-4; USDA
2 Non-profit organizations; Canadian chemical company representatives
1 Agricultural supply representative; Canadian university; African agricultural ministry

 Locations-Domestic
24 New York
16 Connecticut; Massachusetts
15 Virginia
14 Pennsylvania
10 New Jersey
8 Washington, D.C.
7 Maine; Nebraska
5 Maryland
4 Colorado; Rhode Island; West Virginia
3 Florida; Ohio; Vermont
2 Delaware; Georgia; Illinois; Iowa
1 California; Kansas; Michigan; New Hampshire; North Carolina; Oregon; Utah

Locations-International
16 Ontario
2 Nova Scotia; Quebec
1 Lithuania; Sierra Leone; Switzerland

Milestone #3 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

3) Participants complete exit surveys; data collated and analyzed by Key Individuals. Areas requiring follow-up are identified and addressed. Feb-Mar 2016.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
75
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
181
Proposed Completion Date:
March 31, 2016
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
December 16, 2016
Accomplishments:

Participants were polled prior to the start of each webinar to gain a cursory assessment of their “entry knowledge” of the webinar topic.  Not all attendees participated in the polls, but response rates were high: 71 for Webinar 1 (96%), 67 for Webinar 2 (81%), 35 for Webinar 3 (90%), and 40 for Webinar 4 (85%). Results from the polls were attached (December 2016 report) Webinar Survey Tallies

Selected results of the Pre-Webinar Series poll include:

  • About half of attendees rated their knowledge of RM as “average”.
  • 54% of attendees were from Extension, 11% from the Federal government and 7% from industry.
  • 24% listed Pest Management as their area of expertise, 13% cited Sustainable agriculture, and 11% said Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science (respondents could choose more than one category).

Selected results from the Fungicide/Insecticide/Herbicide Webinar Series poll include:

  • Less than 1/5 of respondents correctly answered a question about resistance being a genetic change that occurs as a result of a pest being exposed to a pesticide.
  • Only 3% correctly answered a question about continual fungicide use always leading to lack of control.
  • Half of the respondents did not answer any questions related to insecticide resistance (cause unclear).
  • Webinar participants were more likely to correctly answer questions about herbicide resistance than insecticide or fungicide resistance.

Moodle Platform:  Twenty-three (23) people “introduced” themselves on the Moodle.  The results from the polls from the webinars were posted on the Moodle.  Answers to the RM questions are included in the posting.  All four webinars are accessible from the Moodle in streaming mode, downloadable mode, along with a PowerPoint presentation. 

Demographic Survey.  Using Survey Monkey (December 2015), we invited the 181 registrants to complete a demographic survey; 56 attendees submitted responses (31% response rate).  The survey was uploaded to the SARE reporting portal in December 2015.  We were interested to know their area(s) of expertise and in what areas they felt competent to give RM advice.  We also queried to assess their interest to participate in future activities related to the grant.  Just over half of the respondents (29 people) indicated that they would be interested in receiving a “Certificate of Completion (COC)”, which would involve participation in at least 2 webinars, training growers, and participating in the verification process. 

Needs Assessment Survey.  Prior to being awarded this grant, we surveyed Northeastern educators and growers to document the need for the webinar series and other components proposed in the grant.  The results were compiled and posted on the Moodle.  The document (Sandler, H.A., L. McDermott, K.M. Ghantous, and D. Medeiros, 2015. Assessment of resistance management education and experience of educators and growers in the Northeast) is available in the RM section of our ScholarWorks page: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cranberry_outreach_resistance/3

 

Milestone #4 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

4) Key Individuals produce and electronically distribute one core RM module and one video.  Mar-May 2016.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
4
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
4
Proposed Completion Date:
May 31, 2016
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
June 13, 2017
Accomplishments:

September 2016. A slide presentation (aka 'Core Module') was produced by Key Individuals Ghantous, Sandler, Sylvia, and McDermott.  It is posted on Scholarworks (UMass digital library platform) at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cranberry_outreach_resistance/1/. As of June 28, 2018, the slide presentation has been downloaded 142 times. The module has been accessed by 39 different institutions (most are educational, but ~25% were governmental or commercial entities).  The institutions included the US EPA, AgCanada, and many universities.  Downloads were made by people from 31 different countries with most (61%) from the US and about 6% from China. Most people found the module through Google Scholar.

October 14, 2016. Core Module slide presentation was distributed to the list of registrants (177 total including the 4 Key Individuals).  The module was uploaded in December 2016 to the UMass Scholarworks web site https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cranberry_outreach_resistance/1/ . To download the PDF, click the "Download" button on the right of the screen. To download the PowerPoint, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link "RM Core Module_final.pptx" under Additional Files. 

The introduction of the publication indicates that "The PDF document contains the Key Individuals' comments regarding various resistance management topics and should be useful for educational outreach. The PowerPoint slide presentation is intended for educators who wish to develop a resistance management educational module for their stakeholders. The presentation can be modified to fit your particular needs. Please include the acknowledgement slide (last slide) in all tailored presentations." 

February 3, 2017. The Core Module and a related survey were posted to Moodle.  All webinar participants were informed about the availability of these resources.

June 13, 2017. A video of the core module was released on the UMass Cranberry Station YouTube channel.  It has received 313 views, as of June 28, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IYld52JNvs.

 

 

Milestone #5 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

5) Key Individuals organize 35 beneficiaries into working groups to identify stakeholder needs regarding RM.  Five people from each commodity outreach group are identified and meet to develop tailored education materials and modules (using the core module developed above) for their specialty crop growers. June-Aug 2016.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
35
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
19
Proposed Completion Date:
August 31, 2016
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
December 15, 2017
Accomplishments:

In December 2016, we organized interested primary beneficiaries into a "Short List" of 12 contacts with whom we communicated periodically through 2017. This Short List was a subset generated from the list of those who expressed desire to participate in at least one phase of the verification process (see attached file; Survey-tallies-WG-Verification-w-banner1). We emailed this group (12/20/16) to determine if they were willing to work with us over the next year.  In addition to the Key Individuals (3 from MA and 1 from NY), the Short List had representation from 9 states and 1 Canadian province. We sent an email (about using the Core Module) on December 13, 2016 to the list of all webinar registrants (177 total including the 4 Key Individuals).  We requested that they notify us of workshops at which they will hold RM sessions. Attached to that email was a survey that Educators could use during their educational sessions (included in December 2016 report; RM-survey-to-accompany-Core-Module-Presentation1).

Since most of the primary beneficiaries reported that they worked alone on educational material development, organizing and utilizing Working Groups did not evolve as we had proposed.  Despite this setback, we identified 19 people who constituted seven (7) different working groups representing small fruit, tree fruit, vegetables, and cranberry.  The working groups contained between two (2) and four (4) individuals. The working groups represented collaborations within and among six (6) different Northeastern universities (research and Extension personnel).

 

 

Milestone #6 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

6) Designated commodity specialists provide oral feedback to Key Individuals regarding preparation for educational programs utilizing the video and their ‘tailored’ module. June-Aug 2016.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
6
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
10
Proposed Completion Date:
August 31, 2016
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
December 19, 2017
Accomplishments:

We contacted (by email) 19 individuals who had indicated continued interest in the project, both in terms of providing feedback (as primary beneficiaries) to the project leaders and in conducting workshops with their commodity stakeholders.  We received responses from 10 of those queried. In general, primary beneficiaries had not shared the link to the video with their stakeholders but the video received 141 views as of this writing.  Re-sending of the links to the core module and video was also mentioned as something that would be helpful. Of those who said they did not use the core module and/or the video, no specific reason was given as to why they did not use it. 

 

Milestone #7 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

7) Commodity outreach leaders will plan 10 workshops that are announced through Extension network; educational materials are finalized. Sept-Dec 2016.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
800
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
35
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
2500
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
21
Proposed Completion Date:
December 31, 2016
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
January 18, 2018
Accomplishments:

Workshops were planned and conducted by commodity outreach leaders throughout 2017 and 2018. The data on those workshops are detailed in Milestone 8. 

Milestone #8 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

8) 25 educators lead workshops attended by 800 growers where the core module and tailored RM/IPM educational programs are presented and administer surveys to document changes in knowledge and anticipated implementation of RM are administered. 6 educators also plan and conduct RM sessions at NY Expo and NEFVC. Jan-Dec 2017.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
800
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
25
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
2500
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
21
Proposed Completion Date:
December 31, 2017
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
December 15, 2017
Accomplishments:

The Project Team reached out by phone to approximately 30 Primary Beneficiaries who had indicated (via the email sent in December 2016, see Milestone 5) they would likely conduct RM education outreach. In addition to the 4 Project Team members, workshops were held by 17 different Primary Beneficiaries who educated (likely, more than) 2,500 secondary beneficiaries (growers). Northeast educators led 28 workshops and gave 41 presentations on RM. Approximately 15 presentations on RM were made at two large regional meetings: the Empire State Producers Expo (ESPE) January 2017 and the New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference (NEVFC) in December 2017.  Sandler and McDermott were on the organizing committee for NEVFC and McDermott was an organizer for ESPE; our direct participation in these events enabled us to solicit speakers to ensure that aspects of RM were presented at the 2017 meetings and to identify our colleagues who were making presentations related to RM.  Primary beneficiaries sent emails to Project Team members to indicate they were planning and/or holding a workshop related to RM and/or we obtained this information during our phone interviews of the Primary Beneficiaries.  According to their input, workshops were held in MA (750+), ME (205), NH (245+), NJ (70), NY (750+), RI (475+), PA (200+), and VT (185); number in parenthesis indicated attendance (at least 2,450, rounded to 2,500 due to estimations). 

Milestone #9 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

9) 70 growers interact one-on-one with Extension personnel to implement specific RM recommendations on their farms. 20 growers are interviewed by commodity Extension personnel to determine secondary beneficiary behavior changes. April-Sept 2017.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
70
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
6
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
150
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
18
Proposed Completion Date:
April 30, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
May 11, 2018
Accomplishments:

To find out how many growers received one-on-one support on pest management issues and pesticide selection within the context of an RM program in 2017, we contacted eight (8) Primary Beneficiaries (PB) in December 2017. We learned that more than 100 growers interacted one-on-one with PBs.  We assumed at least 6 of the PBs from the phone interviews also participated in the End-of-Project PB internet survey (where 16 people said they did one-on-one sessions, see Milestone 11), thus we estimated that a total of 18 providers participated in one-on-one sessions.

We formally interviewed (by phone) 19 growers (Secondary Beneficiaries) in Spring 2018; 9 were cranberry growers and 10 were diversified vegetable and small fruit growers. All growers reported that attendance at the training sessions improved their understanding of pesticide resistance management (RM). In addition, every grower reported implementation of techniques learned in the training on their farms.  Techniques widely used included changing the variety planted, increased rates of pesticides used, and decreased number of applications (veg/small fruit growers). Tank mixes and targeted applications with new and varied chemistries were consistently implemented among cranberry growers.  All growers implemented these techniques despite seeing no economic incentives (e.g., no labor savings, no pesticide savings, and sometimes no improved efficacy). Seventy-nine percent said one impact that resulted from these changes (i.e., RM implementation on their farms) in their IPM program was increased confidence in their pest control program.

Milestone #10 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10) 25 primary beneficiaries are formally interviewed to capture changes and challenges regarding grower education programs. Apr-Nov 2017.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
25
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
19
Proposed Completion Date:
April 30, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
May 4, 2018
Accomplishments:

We formally interviewed (by phone) 19 commodity specialists (Primary Beneficiaries) who reported making presentations utilizing RM concepts. Most primary beneficiaries reported including information that they learned from the NE-SARE PDP supported RM Webinar Series in their presentations, even if they did not specifically use the core module. Utilization of the actual Core Module (which was based on the webinar series) was reported by nine (9) specialists covering vegetables, small fruit, cranberry and tree fruit workshops; several respondents noted that they used the Core Module at multiple venues.

In the interviews, we asked specific questions relating to the milestones and goals of this project. Three PB were planning to use the video in future meetings. The usefulness of a fact sheet (a product not specifically proposed as part of this project) on RM was mentioned by two interviewees as a product that could/might be helpful for them in their educational outreach. In general, interviewees did not provide specifics (even if pressed) on why they did not use and/or how we could further facilitate usage of the products produced by this grant.

Five (5) PB reported disseminating surveys to their stakeholders who attended outreach educational sessions. The four Key Individuals (Project Team members) collected and collated these data into a report format and the summary of the grower surveys administered by PB is available in Scholarworks (https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cranberry_outreach_resistance/2).

Milestone #11 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

11) 20 primary beneficiaries complete end-of-project verification survey to report on educational programs, experiences from workshops, and one-on-one interactions. Certificates of Completion are issued. Nov 2017-April 2018.

Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
20
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
53
Proposed Completion Date:
April 30, 2018
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
May 30, 2018
Accomplishments:

We distributed a Survey Monkey poll in mid-May 2018 to the 181 webinar attendees.  The purpose was to capture information on the use of the products generated by the project by Primary Beneficiaries (PB) in RM education in the Northeast.  We also asked respondents to estimate number of growers trained.  Fifty-three people responded (29% response rate) representing 10 states plus 3 provinces of Canada. Extension personnel accounted for 60% of the respondents with government personnel accounting for 20%. 85% participated in the webinar series; 21% used the Moodle Platform or used/adapted the Core Module slide presentation. Twenty-three percent (23%) or 28% watched the video of the Core Module or worked with colleagues to present information about RM, respectively. 84% said their understanding and awareness of RM was greater now than prior to the training provided by the project. Nearly half of 44 respondents reported working on educational outreach by themselves; of those who interacted with colleagues, 90% reported that the RM sources provided by this project helped (moderately to very much) in unifying their RM outreach. The webinars, watching the core module and tailoring the core module were the top 3 resources important in outreach development. The resources provided by this grant increased the confidence of the PB in helping growers understand MOA (84%), assisting growers with developing pesticide rotations and schedules (76%), helping growing establish a whole-farm RM plan (60%), identifying improper RM strategies (80%), suggesting nonchemical techniques (86%) and working with colleagues to deliver RM (59%).

Thirty-four (34) Primary Beneficiaries reported training growers in seven different ways but presentations at grower/industry meetings were the primary outlet (68%), followed by one-on-one sessions and distribution of information via newsletters, fact sheets and management guides (47%).   Twenty-three (23) PB gave presentations at industry meetings to more than 2,000 growers; 16 PB did at least 290 one-on-one sessions (some growers received multiple sessions). According to categorized estimates provided by respondents, more than 3,600 people received RM information through newsletters (16 PB reporting), 7 PB held workshops (small, informal venues) that were attended by more than 350 growers and 4 PB reached nearly 700 growers through web alerts or other social media outlets. We suspect the newsletter recipient estimate may be higher than actual due to "overlap"; we would however feel very comfortable with a number around 2,800 or so as the Veg Notes newsletter reaches >2,000 people.

Thirty-one (31) individuals indicated they wished to obtain a Certificate of Completion (COC). The recipients represented Primary Beneficiaries from 9 different states.

Milestone Activities and Participation Summary

Educational activities and events conducted by the project team:

50 Consultations
4 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
4 Online trainings
6 Published press articles, newsletters
4 Webinars / talks / presentations
4 Workshop field days
7 Other educational activities: 7 work groups who customized presentations by commodity

Participants in the project’s educational activities:

70 Extension
7 NRCS
21 Researchers
2 Nonprofit
19 Agency
12 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
50 Others
181 Number of agricultural educator or service providers reached through education and outreach activities

Learning Outcomes

53 Agricultural service providers reported changes in knowledge, skills and/or attitudes as a result of their participation.
440 Farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of their participation
34 Ag service providers intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned through this project in their educational activities and services for farmers
Key areas in which the service providers (and farmers if indicated above) reported a change in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness::

We obtained the following via a Survey Monkey poll distributed to all attendees (service providers) of the 4-part Resistance Management (RM) webinar series. The resources developed via this grant increased the confidence of the service providers (aka Primary Beneficiaries) in helping growers understand modes of action (84%), assisting growers with developing pesticide rotations and schedules (76%), helping growing establish a whole-farm RM plan (60%), identifying improper RM strategies (80%), suggesting nonchemical techniques (86%) and working with colleagues to deliver RM (59%) (N=53).

Through phone interviews with growers (N=19), they reported increased confidence to implement RM techniques on their farm, improved understanding of how RM works, and improved understanding and importance of rotating chemistries. Annual crop growers reported increased rotation of varieties as part of their RM program. All growers cited regular attendance to workshops on RM as critical to staying current on information; they cited Extension materials (e.g., management guides) as important resources that helped to guide their decisions.

A summary of the collated and collected responses, detailing the impact of the educational effort on growers' ability to increase knowledge and/or implement RM approaches on their farm, were complied into report format and can be found at http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cranberry_outreach_resistance/2.

Performance Target Outcomes

Performance Target Outcomes - Service Providers

Target #1

Target: number of service providers who will take action to educate/advise farmers:
25
Target: actions the service providers will take:

After participating in on-line webinar and Moodle sessions on the principles and practices of RM within an IPM context, 25 Extension and agricultural industry personnel from 8 Northeastern states develop crop-specific training modules and materials to transfer this knowledge to 800 Northeast specialty crop growers who farm 36,000 acres.

Target: number of farmers the service providers will educate/advise:
800
Target: amount of production these farmers manage:

36,000 acres

Verified: number of service providers who reported taking actions to educate/advice farmers:
34
Verified: number of farmers the service providers reported educating/advising through their actions:
2500
Verified: amount of production these farmers manage:

36,000

Activities for farmers conducted by service providers:
  • 11 Curricula, factsheets and other educational tools
  • 290 Consultations
  • 1 Online trainings
  • 32 Published press articles/newsletters
  • 41 Webinars/talks/presentations
  • 28 Workshops/field days
  • 4 Other= social media outlets. We estimated that the 16 PB who said they did newsletters wrote 2 articles over the period of the grant (thus generating 32 publications). Eleven people tailored the Core Module for their growers, thus the estimate for the educational tools developed.
34 Total number of agricultural service provider participants who used knowledge and skills learned through this project (or incorporated project materials) in their educational activities, services, information products and/or tools for farmers
2500 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Performance target outcome for service providers narrative:

After participating in on-line webinar and Moodle sessions on the principles and practices of RM within an IPM context, 34 Extension and agricultural industry personnel from 10 Northeastern states developed crop-specific training modules and materials to transfer this knowledge to more than 2500 Northeast specialty crop growers who farm 36,000 acres.

More details on how we arrived at these numbers:  Fifty-three people, representing 10 states plus 3 provinces of Canada responded to an End-of Project survey (29% response rate). Thirty-four (34) Primary Beneficiaries reported training growers in a variety of ways: 23 PB gave presentations at industry meetings to more than 2,000 growers; 16 PB did at least 290 one-on-one sessions (some growers received multiple sessions). Seven (7) PB held workshops (small, informal venues) that were attended by more than 350 growers.  Assuming that there may have been some overlap in reporting, combined with the number of growers trained that we verified through email and phone calls (see Milestone 8), we feel the number of 2,500 growers trained via efforts supported by this project is reasonable.  We did not get specific acreage numbers from the growers trained (3rd component of the performance target). There are approximately 19,205 farms with 270,000 acres of specialty crop farms in the Northeast. If each person trained has their own farm, with an average of 14 acres, our estimate of impacting 36,000 is a reasonable approximation.

Performance Target Outcomes - Farmers

Additional Project Outcomes

1 Grant applied for that built upon this project
1 Grant received that built upon this project
$867,000.00 Dollar amount of grant received that built upon this project
5 New working collaborations
Additional Outcomes Narrative:

The Extension Implementation Project (EIP) grant listed above is for 3 years.  Resistance management outreach and education is a component of this USDA grant. Milestones for the EIP grant include holding two RM workshops utilizing the slide presentation that was designed to promote a unified approach for educating specialty crop growers in the Northeast. In Years 2 and 3, the EIP Team will provide one-on-one consulting for Mentor Farmers to develop a workable plan to incorporate RM into routine IPM programs. Additional activities include training sessions with hands-on activities to properly identify and manage plant disease, insect, nutritional, and weed problems during field days as well as educational efforts focusing on disease forecasting models, fungicide efficacy, and fungicide resistance management. Stakeholder engagement will be achieved primarily through disease alerts and articles for vegetable, fruit and horticulture newsletters, and fruit and vegetable websites, as well as presentations and workshops. 

The Team was awarded Northeast Regional Winner, Learning Module Category, National Association of County Agricultural Agents Communications Contest in 2017.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.