The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will soon begin contacting potato producers to learn about their production practices during the 2010 growing season. As part of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will gather data on farmers’ chemical use and pest management practices for potatoes.
"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 Vince Matthews, Director of the Idaho NASS Field Office. "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 collect data on potatoes. This will be the first time since 2005 that ARMS has focused on potato production.
Beginning in late October, NASS representatives will conduct face-to-face interviews with nearly 1,110 potato growers nationwide, including 200 in Idaho.
"When contacted, producers will be asked to provide information on their fertilizer, nutrient, biocontrol and pesticide applications, as well as their pest management practices," added Matthews. "Early next year, we will follow up with some of the participants to obtain additional economic data."
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.