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
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 theUSDA-NASS, Michigan Field Office at (800) 453-7501.