More than 4,000 farmers will be asked about fertilizer and pesticide application
By Diego Flammini
Some American soybean producers can expect to hear from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) next month.
USDA staff will begin contacting more than 4,000 soybean farmers in October to collect information for the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).
The survey, which the USDA conducts three times per year, “collects production practices and cost of production data on selected commodities.”
Officials will use the data to create a report that gives a clear picture of some farm input costs.
“The information gathered will give producers the opportunity to explain how they use agricultural chemicals and manage pests responsibly,” Greg Bussler, state agriculture statistician for Wisconsin, said in a statement. “The results will also help agricultural leaders and decision-makers better understand how producers cope with risks and make decisions about chemical use, new technologies and other aspects of farming.”
In addition to Wisconsin, farmers in Iowa, Illinois and other soybean-producing states can expect to be contacted by the USDA.
The collected data also helps lawmakers and industry groups understand what contributes to increasing input costs.
U.S. farmers, for example, spent $15.5 billion on crop protection products in 2019 and have spent at least $15 billion every year since 2016, the USDA reports. In 2015, producers spent $14.6 billion on crop protection goods.
The October survey is the second ARMS of the year. The first took place between May and July. The third survey is scheduled to take place between February and April 2021.
Farms.com has reached out to industry groups for comment.