Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Apple IPM Transition Project

Survey Results

Audience Participant Survey (Turning Point™)

PMTP participated at several industry events between November 2008 and March 2009. Audiences were surveyed (using the Turning Point™ audience response system) on their knowledge regarding the use and phase-out of AZM, general pesticide use and alternative pest management practices. The last two sections are supplemental questions asked only at the GS Long and Pesticide Recertification sessions or at the WA Hort. Assoc. annual meeting. The written results of the complete survey can be downloaded here.

Select desired tab heading to view result sections.

Summary of Results

Data were gathered from participants using the Turning Point audience response system at eight events held between November 2008 and March 2009. One type of event was large gatherings, for example, the Washington State Horticultural Association (WSHA), Wilbur-Ellis, and GS Long annual meeting Spanish language sessions. The other type of event consisted of smaller recertification classes, four in Spanish and one in English (at the Pasco Ag Trade show). Thus, seven of the eight sessions were conducted in Spanish. Most survey questions were asked of all audiences, with the exception of a few questions not asked at the Pasco recertification class and/or the WSHA meeting, as noted in the result tables. Also noted in the tables are questions where respondents could select more than one response or where answer choices were slightly modified. The majority of respondents (91%) reported liking using the Turning Point system.

Of all respondents, 36% were pesticide applicators and 32% were supervisors. The remaining respondents were divided among owners, managers, consultants, other, and a few who didn’t work in orchards. 73% of respondents worked in tree fruit, 15% in grapes, and smaller percentages in wheat, potatoes, and other crops. 70% of respondents indicated that they applied pesticides as part of their jobs, and 45% supervised people who apply pesticides. Thus, respondents were quite involved in pesticide work, especially on tree fruit.

In terms of the Guthion phase-out, just under 70% of respondents had worked with the pesticide Guthion, and 57% had been part of a cholinesterase monitoring program. 79% of respondents knew that Guthion was being phased out and 52% knew that 2012 was the last year it was approved for use (27% reported not knowing the answer). Further, 40% of respondents said they knew how to manage crop production without Guthion (another 23% said the question did not apply to them). Of the newer insecticides, 40-50% of respondents had worked with Assail, Delegate, and/or Intrepid, and 20-30% had worked with Rimon, Altacor, Calypso, and/or Esteem. When asked about alternative pest management practices, just under 74% of respondents indicated they had worked with pheromones and 53% knew what IPM was (an additional 14% said they knew more or less what IPM was). Thus, there was fairly widespread knowledge of the changes taking place in pesticide regulations, and some experience with alternative methods of pest management.

In terms of information sources and safety, 55% of respondents reported getting the information they needed to work with pesticides from the pesticide label or MSDS. Almost half the respondents (48%) got their information from supervisors, 34% from certification classes, and 17% from “government” (DOH, WSDA, L&I, UW, WSU, etc.). Small percentages of respondents reported getting pesticide information from medical providers or other sources, and another small percentage reported not having the information they needed to work with pesticides. When asked about pesticide safety, 91% of respondents knew how to verify the personal protective equipment needed for a particular pesticide and 86% reported knowing the re-entry interval for the pesticides they were using. 73% of respondents reported that people at work ask them questions about the pesticides being used, and 71% indicated that they have enough information to answer those questions. Thus, most respondents gleaned information from pesticide labels and supervisors, and were aware of safety precautions. Most were also knowledgeable enough to answer questions posed to them about the pesticides with which they worked.

A few more specialized questions were asked at the GS Long, Wenatchee recertification, and WSHA meetings. At the GS Long and Wenatchee recertification meetings, which were the last of the series of winter Turning Point events, 27% of the 275 respondents had used the Turning Point system before, indicating that there is likely some repetition of respondents in the full sample. In addition, in response to a question about pesticide labels, 38% of respondents reported understanding them well or perfectly, while 39% reported understanding them somewhat, and 11% did not understand them well or at all. This was in a group where 40-50% of respondents applied and/or mixed and loaded pesticides, and just under 33% were responsible for spray crews and pesticide applications. This may indicate a need to ensure that those working with pesticides are able to understand pesticide labels sufficiently or at least know to ask others for help as needed.

Last, of respondents at the GS Long and Wenatchee recertification meetings, just under 68% reported attending the meeting in order to learn, 52% to get pesticide credits, and 27% because they were sent by their supervisors. The majority of respondents (82%) felt that the information presented during the meeting was very helpful or quite helpful to them. Of respondents at the WSHA meeting, just under 55% had attended the Spanish language session for four or more years, while 16% were attending for the first time. In addition, 78% indicated that they would prefer to continue attending seminars in Spanish rather than joining an English language session with simultaneous interpretation. High levels of participation in Spanish language seminars may thus have to do with a desire to learn, provision of pesticide credits, support from supervisors, and the availability of Spanish language sessions.

These Turning Point survey results, while not representative of a random sample of pesticide applicators, supervisors, and other workers, does represent data from a large group of people who attended pesticide recertification and other meetings in central Washington during the winter of 2008-09. Data indicated that respondents know a good deal about the Guthion phase-out, alternative pest management, pesticide safety, and how to get the information they need to work with pesticides. Nevertheless, there is room for additional knowledge and improvement, and perhaps a particular need to work on comprehension of pesticide labels, even among workers specialized in working with pesticides.

Secondary content using h2 tag.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Heading using the h3 tag

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

WSU-Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, 1100 N Western Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801 509-663-8181, Contact Us