All Ontario field crop, vegetable, fruit and specialty crop farmers are asked to fill out a confidential, anonymous on-line survey of pesticide use for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs. This year, the survey is being conducted by Farm & Food Care Ontario and is available on line at http://www.ontariopesticidesurvey.ca/.
Surveys have been conducted every five years since 1973 and are used to track trends in pesticide use. Government, commodity boards and researchers use the information to help improve minor use pesticide registration lists, work toward safer use of pesticides and to understand trends in use and the types of pesticides used.
Craig Hunter, Expert Advisor with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, said “Ontario growers have shown leadership over the past 40 years by sharing their pesticide use records. These records have been put to great use to help justify such things as emergency uses, adding products to the GROU list for importation, and for pesticide pricing impacts.” Hunter added, “I urge growers to once again share their data, in total confidentiality, to continue this valuable resource.”
The survey will track all field and horticulture crops and the pesticides used, acres applied and also acres where no pesticides are used. All farmers and custom spray applicators are encouraged to help fill out the survey of products they used during the 2013 growing season.
With increasing interest in seed treatments used in agriculture, this topic will also be added to the 2013 pesticide use survey, including the number of acreage planted with the treated seed and the active ingredients in the seed treatments.
The survey is anonymous. Only a respondent’s county information will be collected to help determine pesticide usage in different parts of the province.
New this year, data collection has moved to an online program with drop down menus for ease of use and accuracy of data. The survey is available online at http://www.ontariopesticidesurvey.ca/. Farm & Food Care will also accept mail-in, fax or email returns of the survey (pdf format). If you need more information, please contact Bruce Kelly at Farm & Food Care Ontario (519-837-1326).
Data collection will continue until February 15, 2014.