The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is going to study the production practices of U.S. soybean farmers. It's called the Agricultural Resource Management Survey and gathers data on farmers fertilizer, pesticides, and pest management practices used to grow soybeans.
They've already mailed a letter to the 300 Iowa producers selected, letting them know a representative will be stopping by.
Greg Thessen, Upper Midwest Director of NASS, says it lets farmers tell their story on how sustainable they are or how they're protecting the environment. And it helps lawmakers understand how they cope with pest risks or how insurance products fit into the picture.
Thessen says, "Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency has to reregister or even register new pesticides. So, the information collected in this survey is used by that agency to do that. Rather than assuming maximum label rates are being used, they have actual information from farmers to know what rates of these chemicals they are actually using."
Thessen wants to remind farmers that the information is kept confidential, it's only provided in an aggregate data form.
The results of the study will be out in May of 2018.