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Building better information products by assessing the information needs of growers of subtropical strawberries in Queensland

Vock, N.T. and Greer, G.N. (2006) Building better information products by assessing the information needs of growers of subtropical strawberries in Queensland. Acta Horticulturae, 708 . pp. 435-438.

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Publisher URL: http://www.ishs.org/

Abstract

Timely access to effective technical information is a key ingredient of profitable strawberry production. Through the Better Berries Program, a joint RD&E initiative of government and industry, a number of information products and services have been provided in recent years to Australia's subtropical strawberry industry, centred in southern Queensland. However, there is a lack of knowledge of how well these are meeting the information needs of growers, both in content and delivery. To better understand grower information use and needs, a stratified sample of 25 growers was interviewed on-farm during the 2004 season. Growers were asked about how they currently accessed information, what they thought of a range of information products and ideas on show, and what advice they would provide for information development in the future. Results indicated that information sought by growers and the style in which it is best presented, varied considerably with grower experience, but little with farm size. New growers had a wide range of needs while the needs of experienced growers were focused mainly on problem identification and new production development. Interestingly, the overwhelming majority across all sectors still preferred paper-based information products despite their extensive use of computers for business purposes. The findings were used to develop a strategy for an improved range of technical information products and services that are more accessible, easier to use, more timely, and more relevant to the needs of growers.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© International Society for Horticultural Science.
Keywords:Communication; Fragaria x ananassa Duch.; information needs analysis; strawberry growers.
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural education
Deposited On:26 Jan 2009 23:34
Last Modified:21 Nov 2010 21:52

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