MDA invites farmers to participate in survey

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) encourages farmers to take part in its annual pesticide and fertilizer use survey.

Survey data helps the MDA track the use of agricultural chemicals on Minnesota farms and provides guidance for educational and research programs.

The voluntary survey begins Monday, March 18 and should be completed by Friday, April 5. Questions focus on the 2018 growing season. A March and April phone survey features pesticide and fertilizer applications for wheat and hay. No personal questions are asked.

Surveys are conducted for the MDA by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) regional offices in Missouri.

Farmers may get calls from multiple agencies and companies doing a variety of surveys.

The MDA publishes annual pesticide sales data for pesticide active ingredients based on pesticide registrant reporting requirements. Care must be used when interpreting the data.

Sales data for select crop chemicals is available from 1991 to 1995, for all crop chemicals from 1996 to present, and for other pesticide categories from 2006 to present.

Pesticides sold in Minnesota may not be used in the same year they are sold, or in some cases, may never be used in Minnesota. Sales data provide an indication of long-term pesticide use trends.

Using the Farm Nutrient Management Assessment Program (FANMAP), the MDA quantifies fertilizer use in localized state regions.

FANMAP is a diagnostic tool used to provide very detailed information about agricultural inputs such as fertilizer, manure and pesticides. On-farm management and input information is collected during one to two-hour farm visits.

Thousands of Minnesota farmers have shared valuable information about their farming practices since the program began in 1994.

For more information, visit https://www.mda.state.mn.us/

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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