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Summary of Participant Ideas from Precision Application Workshop 

The workshop participants indicated that they learned that targeted precision application (PA) of pesticides has significant potential benefits to growers and the environment by reducing pesticide waste. Although grower adoption is still evolving in some areas, adoption in orchard crops is growing. While mitigation credits may be a short-term solution, more data is needed to bring changes in the regulatory risk assessments. Because of the complexity, collaboration among various stakeholders is needed to continue to realize benefits within the regulatory process.

It was suggested by some participants to form a vibrant community of national and international stakeholders to develop the necessary datasets, models, and tools for developing a framework to account for the impact of PA on regulatory risk assessments. It is also important to address challenges such as resistance management, adoption by small growers, label language for targeted PA, and standards for PA equipment.  

In the interim, based on participant ideas, we will work to establish a steering committee and working groups to create a forum for stakeholders to collaborate and exchange ideas. An initial focus of these groups would be to develop a white paper that would describe the state of the science, identifying research gaps, challenges, and existing data sets on efficacy and risk mitigation. It is important to bring global experts together to benefit from synergies created by different regulatory needs and policies.

Going forward, CERSA would anticipate that the interdisciplinary community formed through this workshop will continue building collaborative momentum resulting in innovations in targeted PA technology, thereby bringing the value of PA to all stakeholders, improving environmental sustainability and benefits for consumers and society.