Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.
Staff Background Paper # 3.4
USDA's Pesticide Use Surveys
Pesticide use information is a basic component in the analysis of exposure, regulatory impacts, alternatives, and risk mitigation. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts the following surveys.
Field Crops: This survey is done in cooperation with the Economic Research Service. In addition to economic and IPM data, pesticide use data are collected for corn, cotton, potatoes, soybeans, and wheat in all major producing States. The Survey accounts for 80-90 percent of the Nation's total planted acreage of each crop and results are statistically reliable at the state level. This survey was implemented in 1991.
Fruit and Vegetable Crops: Pesticide use data are collected bi-annually on major fruits and vegetables. Approximately 28 fruit crops and 30 vegetable crops accounting for about 85 percent of the Nation's fruit and vegetable acreage are covered in the survey. Results are statistically reliable at the state level. The fruit crops are surveyed in odd-numbered years and vegetable crops in even-numbered years. First year of survey was 1990.
Livestock, General Farm Use, Pasture, and Range: This survey expands the coverage of pesticides used in agriculture by obtaining use data on cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry. This survey is National in scope and will provide pesticide use data at the regional level. The survey was implemented in 1997.
Postharvest -- Potatoes, Apples, Corn, and Wheat: Processors, packers and shippers, and storage operators were surveyed in 1997 to obtain pesticide applications to apples and potatoes. Corn and wheat storage facilities will be surveyed in 1998.
Data: Data are published approximately six months after the surveys are completed. Published data are at the State level (except livestock) by commodity and by active ingredient and include:
percent acres treated, rate per acre, number of applications, rate/application, and total active ingredient applied by crop.
The Sample: The survey is a probability sample, stratified by size group (size based on acreage) of producers of the selected commodity. The sample is drawn to statistically represent each target commodity. Data are collected on site (at the producer's operation) by trained enumerators.
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updated May 22, 1998