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Posted: September 26, 2010 12:30 a.m.

USDA announces surveys

Over the next two months, vegetable growers in the United States will have the opportunity to provide first-hand information on their production practices when they participate in the Vegetable Chemical Use Survey, conducted by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.

"This survey will give 160 Georgia vegetable producers the opportunity to explain how they use agricultural chemicals and manage pests to produce a safe, high-quality food supply," said Doug Kleweno, director of the NASS Georgia Field Office. "The data will help support the policies and programs that protect the health ahnd safety of agriculture producers, workers and consumers alike."
NASS field offices in 19 states will collect data for 19 target crops. In Georgia these crops include snap beans, cabbage, sweet corn, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, squash, tomatoes and watermelons. During the Oct. 7 to Nov. 30 data collection period, NASS representatives will be conducting in-person interviews with growers to gather information on their fertilizer use, chemical use and pest management practices.

"The Vegetable Chemical Use Survey will help ensure that USDA and other agencies have the most accurate, up-to-date chemical use information, straight from the source - producers themselves," Kleweno explained.

Corn and Cotton
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will soon begin contacting corn and cotton producers to learn about their production practices during the 2010 growing season. As part of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey, USDA's NASS will gather data on farmers' chemical use, pest management and irrigation practices for corn and cotton.

"Conducted every fall, ARMS serves as the primary source of information on the production practices, resource use and economic well-being of America's farm operations and farm households," said Kleweno. "The survey results help agricultural leaders and decision-makers better understand how producers cope with risk, adapt to policy changes and make decisions about chemical use, new technologies and many other aspects of farming."

This year, ARMS will focus on corn and cotton in Georgia. This will be the first time since 2005 that ARMS has focused on corn production and the first time ever that it has looked at organic corn production.

Beginning in October, NASS representatives will conduct face-to-face interviews with early 7,500 corn and cotton growers nationwide, including 300 in Georgia.

As with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes data only in aggregate form, ensuring that no individual operation or grower can be identified.

The results of both surbeys will be released on NASS's website at www.nass.usda.gov at later dates. For more information on NASS surveys and reports, visit www.nass.usda.gov or call the NASS Georgia Field Office at (800) 253-4419.

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