Food safety concerns, organic production, genetically modified organisms, and government reporting requirements have created a need for more accurate field records.

However, record-keeping systems tend to be expensive, inflexible, and cumbersome, discouraging many growers and crop consultants. CropDefender.com officials say they address those weaknesses, saving time and money for producers.

CropDefender's free service includes templates for common field operations, scouting, crop storage, and inputs. Professional services start at $99 per year, offering additional template options, GPS location, and technical support.

All CropDefender templates can be customized for business needs. Users can view everything they want or only what they need. The Web interface makes it easy to build personal record-keeping systems. Users can create reports, view regional averages, and export data in Microsoft Excel format.

PocketPC handhelds are used to gather data on-site. Users may also create reports and view data in the field. These reports can be shared with others via wireless services or a computer with an internet connection. Third-party programs also allow printing directly from the handheld computer.

Members of a group can gather data individually, then share their results online. Advanced features, such as phone data entry, are available to corporate customers.

CropDefender now offers a 30-day free trial. After 30 days, users can continue using the basic service at no charge. Special pricing is available for agricultural Extension and university groups.

For more information, visit www.CropDefender.com.