The Minnesota Department of Agriculture asks fruit and vegetable growers to complete the Annual Producer Questionnaire, which will help farmers identify federal food safety requirements that apply to their operations. The questionnaire data also provides the MDA with a more accurate assessment of the expansion of Minnesota’s agricultural products sector.
“The Producer Questionnaire is an important tool to help fruit and vegetable growers in Minnesota navigate federal product safety requirements,” said Alexandra Cortes, MDA Product Safety Program Outreach Analyst. . “It also helps our program better understand the needs of farmers and improve resources and programs for them. “
The producer questionnaire must be completed once a year, per farm. Participation is voluntary. The farm’s contact and location information is classified as private and is not made public. Fruit and vegetable growers who choose not to complete the questionnaire will be contacted by MDA’s Product Safety Program to determine inspection requirements.
The MDA 2022 Producer Questionnaire is available online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ProduceSafety.
Data gleaned from previous questionnaires revealed that:
- 41% of Minnesota’s fruit and vegetable growers grow more than 5 crops, with some growing up to 80 fruit and vegetable crops per season
- Tomatoes and apples are the main crops grown by fruit and vegetable producers
- More than half of farms have an area of less than 10 acres
The most recent data are available in the Product Safety Program Report 2020.
About a third of Minnesota’s 3,000 agricultural producers took the previous Producer Questionnaire, and MDA is encouraging more farmers to complete the 2022 Questionnaire to help raise awareness of their industry and strengthen its growth.
Farmers can contact MDA’s Product Safety Program at 651-539-3648 or email [email protected] to request a hard copy of the questionnaire or for more information.