Protection Association: Environmental information for agronomists
of the needs for environmental information and recommendations on the means of
training and information provision, in association with the Farmed Environment
Report now available: Environmental
information for agronomists 2002: needs and provision
Crop Protection Association and UKASTA
A report will be submitted to the Crop Protection Association
comprising a review of the needs for environmental information for agronomists
and recommendations on the means of providing that information, covering current
competency levels and future skills required to provide agri-environmental advice
on the farm.
evaluate the current levels of agri-environmental knowledge amongst agronomists
from a number of technical and commercial companies
To evaluate the future
information needs for sound agri-environmental advice
To outline current and
future information, skills and training needs and the means of provision
information for agronomists 2002:
needs and provision
report by the Farmed Environment Company
Manor Farm, Eddlethorpe, Malton, North
Yorkshire YO17 9QT
commissioned by the Crop Protection Association UK Ltd
CPA, 4 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough PE1 2RP
E J P Marshall
Marshall Agroecology Ltd, 2 Nut Tree Cottages, Barton,
Winscombe, Somerset BS25 1DU
Tel/Fax: 01934 844844; email@example.com
Under the Crop Protection industry's and Farming industry's
Pesticides Voluntary Initiative aimed at avoiding a pesticide tax, improved environmental
training and knowledge transfer will be developed. As part of this initiative,
the Crop Protection Association (CPA) and UKASTA have commissioned this report
on current skills levels and information and training requirements. Information
has been collected from two agronomist discussion groups and a questionnaire sent
to all CPA and UKASTA member companies. Informal discussions were also held with
individuals representing non-CPA members, researchers and FWAG. A total of 113
questionnaire responses were received and analysed. The objectives are 1) to evaluate
the current levels of agri-environmental knowledge amongst agronomists from a
number of technical and commercial companies and 2) to outline current and future
information, skills and training needs and identify the best means of provision.
The crop protection industry is already influencing environmental management and
biodiversity on the ground with agronomists as trusted advisors
variability of understanding of environmental issues amongst agronomists is a
key aspect to be faced
· FWAG are the specialists in farm wildlife
· Existing information vehicles within the industry are well-developed
The results indicate that the CPA should develop an environmental training programme
supported by a knowledge resource
1. The environmental
skills base of agronomists needs to be raised to a uniform basic level. The BASIS
scheme may provide a suitable model. A number of organisations such as the Farmed
Environment Company and the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group are specialist
providers in this area.
2. Training needs to cover:
the BAP and HAP targets
and basic species and habitat identification
basic habitat management
agri-environmental support schemes
codes of good agricultural practice for
air, soils and water
farm wildlife audit
and should support pesticide selection,
cultural control, ICM and precision farming.
3. The formal training scheme
should involve face-to-face training, with a strong field-based demonstration
element and access to experts.
4. Training needs to be supported by a knowledge/information
resource, as well as relevant and timely reminders to agronomists.
of methods to access the knowledge resource (Internet, CD-ROM, hardcopy) is needed,
to satisfy all agronomists' learning styles.
5. A web-based resource is likely
to be the most important. Websites such as that under development by FWAG for
their own advisers may provide such information or at least a model for it.
The knowledge resource should also be supported with hardcopy or electronic information
packs for a) advisors and b) farmers. Email can be used to provide this information
for many but not all advisors.
7. CPA and UKASTA should consider more formal
links with FWAG.
For an email copy, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org