Grower praise for Trac Software, “I wanted to let you know how good (Trac Software) is...I was inspected by…last summer. I passed with flying colors. Your program…is so easy to use by people who need to keep the records or workers who need to know what is going on. Thank you for making my life easier.”
Trac effectively streamlines the burdensome task of record keeping and reporting. Trac Software is being used in NY, in 31 other States, in Canada, and 17 other countries. Apple, grape, pear, tart cherry, sweet cherry, peach, nectarine, apricot, plum, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, currant, and gooseberry growers using Trac Software find it easy to enter and handle their records and reports. Trac Software for turfgrass managers was distributed in 2008 to 1411 members of the New York State Turfgrass Association. Trac Software provides a simple, inexpensive way to bring more farmers and producers into the computer age, effectively digitizing the agricultural and green industries.
Growers who are able to easily access computer records of pesticide and fertilizer applications and compare practices from year to year, tracking costs and harvests, can better manage their farm businesses, make more informed IPM decisions, and foster their farm’s sustainability. A 2007 survey documented that Trac Software has improved the farm business bottom line, raised access to new markets, enhanced IPM record keeping and reporting, and made record keeping easier. Practically all users, 98%, continue using it for their record keeping and reporting needs.
Since its development in 2003, over 500 fruit farmers in New York have obtained Trac Software. A total of 208 people attended Trac Educational Workshops in 2012 and 2013, primarily fruit farmers. Many were new to Trac Software and, after the workshops, purchased Trac Software licenses. Through grower education on Trac Software, we have succeeded to increase its effective and efficient use. Farmers recognize the benefits of maintaining records in Trac Software.
Improved pesticide application record keeping and reporting is the documented outcome of Trac Software use. For a third of users, Trac Software has improved their access to new markets. Farm workers benefit from a computer-generated US EPA Worker Protection Standard Central Posting form that automatically calculates safe re-entry. NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, food safety auditors, food processors, produce brokers, eco-markets, organic certifiers, etc. benefit from timely, accurate farm reports. Consumers seeking fruit grown locally and sustainably benefit because farmers have improved capacity for pesticide record keeping and reporting, ultimately enhancing the stewardship of their lands.
impact statement issue
Farmers and green industry personnel face increasing need to produce pesticide and fertilizer application records on demand. Records required by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, food processors, produce brokers, retail markets, organic certifiers, eco-labels, etc., each have a different reporting form, which requires growers to fill out several different forms and makes reporting an unnecessarily burdensome task. In an expanding and increasingly competitive global market, businesses with the ability to easily produce detailed and accurate records, including pesticide spray records, have a competitive edge. Consumers seeking products grown with minimal use of pesticides, low environmental impact, and sustainable practices will drive market demand, and the responsibility will be on the farmer, business, processor, and marketer to show that such practices were used. Furthermore, accurate records are critically important for IPM to sustain yields and business success, particularly when pest or disease control failures or severe outbreaks occur.
Trac Software facilitates maintaining accurate records to document pesticide and fertilizer applications and meet reporting requirements. Fruit farmers requested Trac Software educational workshops. Use of the Trac Software computerized record paves the way for easy record keeping, reporting, and review of past IPM practices vital to a sustainable business edge, when green markets demand pesticide traceability.
impact statement response
Trac Software was invented in 2003 for apples, and by 2005, it was available for all fruit crops: TracApple, TracGrape, TracBerry, TracStoneFruit, TracPear, and TracCherry. In 2008, turfgrass managers also began using Trac Software: TracLawn, TracGrounds, TracGolf, and TracSod. Excel-based, the software automatically generates the reports required by US EPA, NYS DEC, processors, buyers, brokers, and green markets. Funds from several sources supported software development. In 2011, the software licenses became available through the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise & Commercialization (CCTEC) at www.cctec.cornell.edu/express%20licensing/software/tracsoftware/, and information on the software is also available at nysipm.cornell.edu/trac/.
Pesticide information in the ChemTable can now be entered directly by the user, allowing an accurate inventory of materials used. In Trac Software, once spray data is entered, it can be sent to any or all of the various report forms for processors, buyers, and government agencies. The user simply fills in the blanks on data entry worksheets. Trac Software has drop-down lists for pesticides and pests, saving time and preventing errors. The software generates drop-down lists specific to the user’s farm or turfgrass business. When a trade name is selected, Trac automatically fills in the EPA registration number, restricted entry interval, pre-harvest interval, and calculates the earliest harvest date and the cost of the application. The software fills out an EPA-WPS Central Posting Form to inform farm workers about safe re-entry.
In 2012 and 2013, Carroll organized and presented 11 educational workshops about Trac Software for fruit farmers. Trac Software workshops were hosted by Extension Educators in the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program, the Lake Ontario Fruit Program, Suffolk County Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Hudson Valley Fruit Program, Broome County Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Finger Lakes Grape Program, the Northeastern NY Fruit Program, and the Capital District Vegetable and Small Fruits Program. A total of 208 people were reached, primarily fruit farmers, but also Extension educators, conservation district officers, and industry personnel.
impact statement summary
Fruit farmers and turfgrass managers must produce pesticide and fertilizer records on demand for EPA Worker Protection, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, food safety audits, food processors, produce brokers, eco-markets, organic certifiers, etc. Trac Software has been documented to improve pesticide application record keeping and to facilitate generating reports. Since its invention in 2003 by Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM Program, over 500 fruit farmers in New York and worldwide have obtained Trac Software, and 98 percent continue using it. Users are impressed with how easy Trac Software is for record keeping. Trac improves accuracy, streamlines reporting, helps meet reporting requirements, and can open new markets. A prior survey of Trac users found 76% would like training sessions. Eleven Trac Software workshops were presented in 2011-2013, effectively educating 208 people in the fruit-farming community to expand their pesticide record keeping and reporting capacity and ultimately enhance the stewardship of their lands.