The U.S. Department of Agriculture will soon begin contacting corn and cotton 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, pest management and irrigation practices for corn and cotton.

“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 Doug Kleweno, director of the Georgia NASS Field Office. “The survey results help agricultural leaders and decision-makers better understand how producers cope with risk, adapt to policy changes, and made decisions about chemical use, new technologies and many other aspects of farming.”

This year, ARMS will focus on corn and cotton in Georgia. This will be the first time since 2005 that ARMS has focused on corn production and the first time ever it has looked at organic corn production.

Beginning in October, NASS representatives will conduct face-to-face interviews with nearly 7,500 corn and cotton growers nationwide, including 300 in Georgia.

“When contacted, producers will be asked to provide information on their fertilizer, nutrient, biocontrol and pesticide applications, as well as their pest management and irrigation practices,” Kleweno said. “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 inaggregate form, ensuring that no individual operation or grower can be identified.

The results of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey will be released on NASS’s Web site at http://www.nasss.usda.gov on May 20, 2011. For more information on NASS surveys and reports, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov, or call the NASS Georgia Field Office at 1-800-253-4419.