The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) has launched a special video report entitled “Traceability: Where do we Stand?” (see below).
The new video points out that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warnings and reports about food contamination from outbreaks of salmonella and E. coli bacteria have motivated the government to begin rewriting regulations that track practices and applications of products coming in contact with the nation’s food supply.
If and when those regulations come, MACA has determined that it is going to be ready. The video describes MACA’s proactive creation of the Traceability Implementation Project (TIP), a standardized system for tracking seed, fertilizer, and crop protection products from formulator to field.
The MACA TIP committee selected a computer software company and ag retailers three years ago to test a system that tracks product from the supplier to the retailer to the field. They adapted an existing software system that collects bar code data using a warehouse manager and a batch broadcaster (or BB gun) that are capable of collecting wireless remote data.
In the video, ag retailers explain how they use these tools to track where the product is applied, who applied it, time, and date. The video also discusses how growers will be able to enter their data into a Web-based system.
The ag retailers focused on three points of data capture:
- Transactions in the warehouse.
- Applications in the field (custom application).
- Transactions that occur at the grower’s location (ex: shuttles of crop protection products that are grower-applied).
The video showcases the benefits of the traceability system, including having the proper records in the event of food, environmental, or safety issues. Traceability will enable retailers to increase efficiency, better manage inventory and billing, and reduce workload and manual input errors.
Wireless barcode scanners and BB guns, combined with inventory management software, improve inventory management and reduce shrink at retailer locations. The BB guns reduce manual errors and improve the efficiency of the operator who downloads the information on the BB gun into the server for inventory reconciliation and billing.
The grower Web-based application allows growers to input production information by field, including fertilizer, seed, and crop protection products. This will help the grower develop a database of inputs and results to improve agronomic decision-making.
To obtain a free copy of the Traceability Implementation Project Guidelines, go to www.maca.org. Click on the education page, then click on Traceability Implementation Project Guidelines.