Consumers and farmers will soon be on their own when it comes to finding out which pesticides are being sprayed on everything from corn to apples.


Consumers and farmers will soon be on their own when it comes to finding out which pesticides are being sprayed on everything from corn to apples.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week it plans to do away with publishing its national survey tracking pesticide use, despite opposition from prominent scientists, the nationís largest farming organizations and environmental groups.

Since 1990, farmers and consumer advocates have relied on the agencyís detailed annual report to learn which states apply the most pesticides and where bug and weed killers are most heavily sprayed to help cotton, grapes and oranges grow.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also uses the data when figuring how chemicals should be regulated, and which pesticides pose the greatest risk to public health.

Joe Reilly, an acting administrator at the National Agricultural Statistics Service, said the program was cut because the agency could not afford the $8 million the survey sapped from its $160 million annual budget.

Most farmers canít afford to pay for the information and environmental groups use it to analyze which chemicals could turn up in local water supplies or endanger critical species.