Date of this Version
A mail survey was conducted to assess current computer hardware use and perceived needs of potential users for software related to crop pest management in Nebraska. Surveys were sent to University of Nebraska-Lincoln agricultural extension agents, agribusiness personnel (including independent crop consultants), and crop producers identified by extension agents as computer users. There were no differences between the groups in several aspects of computer hardware use (percentage computer use, percentage IBM-compatible computer, amount of RAM memory, percentage with hard drive, hard drive size, or monitor graphics capability). Responses were similar among the three groups in several areas that are important to crop pest management (pest identification, pest biology, treatment decision making, control options, and pesticide selection), and a majority of each group expressed the need for additional sources of such information about insects, diseases, and weeds. However, agents mentioned vertebrate pest management information as a need more often than the other two groups. Also, majorities of each group expressed an interest in using computer software, if available, to obtain information in these areas. Appropriate software to address these needs should find an audience among all three groups.