Important Fruit Chemical Use Study to be Conducted

Important Fruit Chemical Use Study to be Conducted

Survey will be used to set state and national estimates of producers' use of pesticides on 23 targeted fruit crops nationally, five in Michigan.

Fruit growers in Michigan will soon be asked to provide information vital to the Michigan fruit industry. This information collected via the 2011 Michigan Fruit Chemical Use Survey will help growers, marketing associations, processors, and university extension specialists make critically important operating decisions.

The Fruit Chemical Use Survey, last conducted in 2009, will provide much needed information on chemicals used, acres treated, and rates applied. Information gathered  from  growers will  be used  to  set state and national  estimates of producers' use of  pesticides  on  23  targeted  fruit  crops  nationally,  and  five  fruit  crops  in  Michigan  (apples, blueberries, sweet cherries, tart cherries, and peaches). 

"Because this survey is the only publicly available source of pesticide use data, participation in this survey is vital," says Jay Johnson, director of the NASS Michigan  Field  Office.  "The Fruit Chemical Use Survey gives the growers the opportunity to demonstrate how they use agricultural chemicals responsibly to produce a safe, abundant, and high quality food supply."

The  survey  results  are  official  USDA  estimates  and  will  help  clarify  the  facts  about  chemical  use  in  agriculture.  "Theninformation from the Fruit Chemical Use Survey is used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help determine

pesticide registrations  and  re-registrations,"  explains  Johnson.  "If data  are  not  available,  EPA  will  assume  maximum  label rates are being applied on all fruit acreage."

The Michigan Department of Agriculture has agreed to grant one credit of private pesticide recertification credit to those operators who complete the Fruit Chemical use Survey. Interviewers will have the recertification seminar materials for the

credit.

An interviewer from the USDA-NASS, Michigan Field Office will contact fruit growers to gather information on their fruit acreage and chemical use. Data collection will begin in October and end in late December. It is recommended that growers have their records ready for a quick and accurate interview. NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state- and national-level data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified.

Survey results will be published in the  Fruit Chemical Usage report to be released in July 2012. Agricultural statistics published  by  NASS  are  available  at www.nass.usda.gov.   For  more  information on  NASS  surveys  and  reports,  call  the

USDA-NASS, Michigan Field Office at (800) 453-7501.
TAGS: USDA Extension
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