- Author: Lynn M. Sosnoskie
The foundation of an effective extension program is an understanding of needs. Although I have worked in California, previously (2012-2017), as a weed scientist with the University of California – Davis, most of my time was spent in specialty crop systems (trees and vines, processing tomatoes, and melons). Consequently, I entered my current position as an Agronomy and Weed Science Advisor less familiar with the concerns and requirements of the agronomic crop industry. Although I expect that issues such as the water availability and quality, soil health, varietal improvement, and effective pest management practices are of significant interest to my clientele, I engaged in a needs assessment to define and rank the expressed concerns.
During my first few months as an advisor, I reached out, personally, to many growers, PCAs, and industry members and asked them to identify the agronomic production matters of most importance in the central SJV. These discussions occurred as one-on-one conversations 1) with attendees at UCCE/UCANR extension meetings or industry-sponsored events, 2) while on farm calls, and at 3) informal introductory meetings. Suggested topics for me to focus on were then categorized into classes, which included: water (quantity and quality), weed and pest management, fertilizer/nitrogen management, labor availability, crop improvement/alternate crop development, and climate change.
Based on the results from my initial needs assessment, I am deploying an online survey to better capture the needs of field crop producers in the Central San Joaquin Valley. Please help me to help you by answering this BRIEF online questionnaire.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION AND SUPPORT!