The Fruit and Vegetable Chemical Use surveys provide detailed estimates of chemical usage on fruit and vegetable crops by farm operators. These surveys are conducted on alternating cycles: the Fruit Chemical Use surveys are conducted in the odd numbered years, and the Vegetable Chemical Use surveys are conducted in the even years.
Coverage's for the fruit and vegetable chemical use surveys are those operations which grow targeted fruit or vegetable crops in selected states. The targeted fruit and vegetable crops are based on U.S. total production. With fruit production being relatively stable across years, NASS samples the operations on the NASS list frame that have previously reported fruit production. Vegetable crops, on the other hand, can be changed from year to year. In other words, a producer may grow carrots one year, and spinach the next. Therefore, NASS conducts a screening survey for the Vegetable Chemical Use survey. In this screening survey, producers that have previously reported having the targeted vegetable crops on the NASS list frame are surveyed to determine what vegetable crops are grown for the survey year.
The Agricultural Chemical Usage reports for fruit and vegetables are released in July. Major tabulations include percentage of the targeted commodity acres treated with chemical applications by state, total amount of active ingredients applied by commodity and state, number of applications made by active ingredient, and the pounds per application of active ingredient applied by commodity and state.
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Fruit and vegetable producers provide data on the acreage of the targeted commodities grown during the year, the targeted commodities that were treated with chemical applications, the name, amount, and method of application of all chemical products applied, and data on their operation=s pest management practices. Fertilizer information is collected from the fruit and vegetable producers during every other survey cycle (every four years).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Economic Research Service (ERS) use the data published from this survey for product registration issues, risk assessments, benefit assessments, and for marketing commodities at the state, national, and international level. As stated earlier, these data are used in the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) decision making process for product registration, re-registration, and product alternatives. This survey is critical in this endeavor because many of the pesticides used on fruit and vegetable crops are classified as Aminor use@. Growers often have no alternatives to these chemicals. If re-registration is not allowed on products used on specialty crops, such an action could have serious consequences for both farmers and consumers since no alternatives are available.
The Fruit and Vegetable Chemical Use surveys are conducted on an annual basis. As mentioned earlier, the Fruit Chemical Use survey is conducted in the odd numbered years, and the Vegetable Chemical Use survey is conducted in the even numbered years. In order to meet the needs of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), the commodities surveyed are based on U.S. production of fruit and vegetable crops.
Personal enumeration is used to collect the information needed on the chemical use surveys. Given the complexity of data collection for chemical applications, a time frame of approximately three months is used. The chemical application data may be obtained directly from the producers, from the custom applicators that keep records for the sampled operation, or in the case of California, chemical application data are obtained from the California EPA. Reporting of chemical use data to the CAL-EPA is mandatory; therefore, burden to the producer is minimized. The mix of targeted fruit and vegetable crops are based on the individual state=s production levels.
Postharvest Chemical Use
Agricultural Resource Management, Phase II
Last modified: 12/01/09
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