All Pesticide Types:
- Total U.S. pesticide usage in 1997 was about 4.6 billion pounds
of active ingredient.This figure includes conventional pesticides
(1.0 billion pounds) plus industrial wood preservatives, biocides,
and certain other chemicals used as pesticides. (Table 4). This usage involves
about 20,700 pesticide products and 890 active ingredients registered
under FIFRA (Table 7).
- Twenty-eight new active ingredients were registered as pesticides
under FIFRA in 1997 (24 in 1996) (Table
11a). Of these new active ingredients, two-thirds were safer
pesticides (biological or other reduced risk) (Table 11b).
- There are about 1.25 million certified pesticide applicators
in the U.S. (Table 12). Of these, most
are for agricultural applications (about 874,000) and the remainder
(375,000) are certified commercial applicators (Table 12).
Conventional/Other Pesticide Chemicals
(excludes industrial wood preservatives and biocides)
- U.S. pesticide user purchases account for nearly one-third of
the world market in dollar terms and about one-fifth of the active
ingredient used measured in pounds (Table 1).
- Annual U.S. pesticide user expenditures totaled approximately
$11.9 billion in 1997 ($11.6 billion in 1996) (Table
- Agriculture accounts for more than two-thirds of pesticide user
expenditures and three-fourths of the volume used annually (Table
2 and Table 3).
- Herbicides are the leading type of pesticides, in terms of both
user expenditures and volume used (Table
2 and Table 3).
- Farmers expenditures on pesticides were equal to 4.5%
of total farm production expenditures in 1997, down slightly from
the previous two years (Table
- Net usage of conventional pesticides of about 1.0 billion pounds
derives from U.S. production of 1.3 billion, imports of 0.2 billion,
and exports of 0.5 billion (pounds of active ingredient of conventional
pesticides) (Table 6).
- Pesticides are used on nearly one million of the nations
farms (0.94 million farms in 1997, reported by the Census of Agriculture).
These 0.94 million farms using pesticides represent more than
one-half of U.S. farms with cropland (1.66 million farms in 1997)
and about two-thirds of U.S. farms with harvested
cropland (1.41 million farms in 1997). Most large-scale farms
use at least some pesticides in crop production. Pesticides are
used by homeowners at about three-fourths of U.S. households (74
million out of 100 million) (Table
- The most widely used pesticide in U.S. agricultural crop production
by volume is the herbicide atrazine (Table
8). The herbicide 2,4-D has the largest volume of usage in
the nonagricultural sectors (Table
- In 1996, conventional pesticide usage in agriculture increased
to 806 million pounds from 771 million in 1995, or by about 4.5
percent (Table 10). This increase in agricultural pesticide usage
was due largely to acreage increases for corn and other major
field crops. In 1997, agricultural usage declined to about the
level of 1995, i.e., 770 million pounds. For the non-agricultural
sectors, conventional pesticide usage increased slightly in 1996
and 1997 (Table 10).