Wednesday, October 5, 2016
USDA Looks Into Corn, Potatoes and Vegetable Production Practices
WASHINGTON– Over the next several months, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) plans to visit thousands of corn, potato and vegetable growers across the United States to conduct the Vegetable Chemical Use Survey and the second phase of the 2016 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS II).
Both of the surveys will focus on chemical use and production practices of these key crops. “Production agriculture in the United States is constantly evolving and results of these surveys help ensure that the most current information about production practices is readily available,” said NASS Census and Survey Division Director, Barbara Rater.
“By responding, farmers ensure that decisions impacting their industry are based on facts.” Data for both surveys will be collected by personal interviews. All interviewers are employed by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, which partners with NASS to conduct face-to-face and phone interviews.
These representatives will begin visiting farms in September. Because of variation in geographic and crop harvesting periods, the surveys will run through January 2017. The Vegetable Chemical Use Survey is part of NASS’ effort to maintain up-to-date statistics about commercial fertilizer and pesticide use as well as pest management practices. Since 1990, the agency has surveyed U.S. farmers for information on the chemical ingredients they apply to agricultural commodities through fertilizers and pesticides.
The program currently alternates focus each year among vegetables, fruit and key field crops. The Agricultural Resource Management Survey is a three phase survey conducted each year jointly by NASS and USDA’s Economic Research Service. In 2016, the focus is on corn production.
Earlier this year in phase I of the survey selected growers were contacted to participate in the survey. During the phase II the survey will focus on chemical use and production practices. Selected growers will also receive a survey during phase III that will focus on farm financial information.
“This survey is one of the only sources of comprehensive chemical use and production practices data,” added Rater. “Resulting information is used by producers, buyers, suppliers, policymakers, and others. I encourage each person to take the time to respond.”