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Georgia to take part in fruit chemical use survey

POSTED: September 12, 2011 6:33 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will survey fruit growers in 12 states, including Georgia, for its biennial fruit chemical use survey. The agency will collect information on pesticides used, acres treated and rates applied to more than 20 fruit crops across the country.

In Georgia, a sample of peach and blueberries producers will be contacted. Growers benefit from providing this information because it is used to re-register products for their use, to illustrate the industry’s environmental practices and to assure the quality of U.S. food to consumers here and around the world.

“Because this survey is the only publicly available source of chemical use data, participation in this survey is vital,” said Doug Kleweno, director of the NASS Georgia 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 fruit chemical use survey will provide much-needed information about the current crop production practices used in the U.S. The results of this survey will provide a detailed picture of chemical use, as well as other pest management practices used by the fruit growers across the nation.

“The information from the fruit chemical use survey is heavily relied upon in the decision-making process for the Food Quality Protection Act, which has an impact on pesticide registrations, re-registrations and product alternatives,” Kleweno said. “Published data are also used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish pesticide policy decisions.”

Beginning in early October, NASS representatives will contact selected Georgia producers to arrange in-person interviews for completing the survey. To safeguard all individual responses, NASS will publish only aggregate data, ensuring the confidentiality of all individual respondents.

Survey results will be published in NASS’ online database, Quick Stats, in July 2012. This database and all NASS reports are available on the agency’s Web site, www.nass.usda.gov. For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Georgia field office at 1-800-253-4419.

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