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1994-1995 Pesticide Market Estimates: Introduction

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Introduction | Authors & Acknowledgments


This report provides an overview of the pesticide industry for 1994 and 1995. It contains a series of tables with estimates of the U.S. market for those two years. The tables contain information on quantities used and user expenditures (by economic sector and pesticide class), imports, exports, numbers of firms/individuals involved in production/use of pesticides, number of pesticides, certified applicators and on a number of other topics.

Much of the tabular information in this report is for the years 1994 and 1995, but historical data are also presented. In a number of cases, the historical estimates of volume used and dollar expenditures have been updated (re-estimated) as presented in Table 13 through Table 16c in this report. Care should be taken to use the new values in this report rather than earlier editions. The estimates of usage are presented for new, more specific categories (types) of usage than in earlier editions of this report. (See Table 3 column headings and discussion of the new categories in the following section titled, "About This Report".) Graphic representations of the data are included along with a number of the tables.

About this Report

EPA, along with the States and other agencies such as USDA, is responsible for regulation of the production and use of pesticides in the U.S., under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act of 1947 (FIFRA). This report is designed to provide contemporary and historical economic profile information on the U.S. pesticide producing and using sectors covered by state/federal regulatory programs mandated under FIFRA. Economic profile information is provided on a variety of topics, particularly the pesticide market in terms of dollar values and quantities of active ingredient. Reports have been prepared on this topic by the EPA Pesticide Program covering the years since 1979.

In this report, quantities and dollar values for pesticide usage are reported with separate breakouts for agriculture, home/garden (homeowner applications) and industrial/commercial/governmental (professional market). They are also reported by commonly used pesticide class categories, e.g., herbicides/plant growth regulators and insecticides/miticides. The definitions for economic sectors and pesticide classes are presented in notes below Table 2 and Table 3. The definitions of pesticide categories (types) used in this report are different than those used in reports for earlier years. This report breaks out pesticide usage into a 10 column format instead of the previous five columns. The historical tables for earlier years have been revised to use the new 10 column format (e.g. Table 13 and Table 14a).

There are no programs at EPA or other agencies devoted specifically to estimation of the overall pesticide market in quantitative and dollar terms each year. Accordingly, the report is prepared based on the best information from the public domain and proprietary sources where they are available for use in estimation. The numbers presented in the report should be considered approximate values rather than precise values with known statistical properties, but are thought to quite accurately show trends over time.

The Agency has available a wide variety of published and proprietary information upon which to base estimates. Extensive files and library materials are maintained at EPA/OPP on pesticide usage. For the agricultural sector, which accounts for a majority of use of conventional pesticides, the Agency has available six national data bases/services including those in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plus a number of more specific and limited data sources. For the non-agricultural sector, there is a similar number of sources of information upon which to make national estimates. For both the agricultural and non-agricultural estimates, some use is made of proprietary data sources, with the permission of vendors, for purposes of arriving at annual estimates of quantities sold and sales values. The proprietary sources used by EPA are well known organizations, which are also utilized by registrants and other private sector firms.

The methods used by the various sources of information to make estimates vary from large statistically based panels (e.g., more than 15,000 respondents annually) to use of largely unstructured interview/survey approaches. Each one must be considered on its merits in judging the usefulness and relevance to making the needed annual market estimates. Corroboration and cross checking are used where possible. One of the problems with some of the existing databases is lack of consistency in coverage, scope, and sampling from year to year, making some sources less useful for computing changes from year to year.

Agency Survey Responsibilities

In recent years, through a series of coordinated initiatives, EPA and USDA have been improving information available on pesticide usage. Each Agency has accomplished this through expanded surveying activities, with EPA focusing on non-agricultural usage sites and USDA focusing on agricultural usage sites. Surveys of pesticide usage by homeowners and by commercial applicators have been conducted by EPA since 1990. For further information about EPA pesticide survey and data activities, contact Alan R. Goozner, Statistician, BEAD/OPP/EPA (7503W), 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460 telephone (703) 308-8147.

Since 1990, USDA (NASS and ERS) has been collecting more extensive and frequent data on agricultural pesticide usage. USDA's data collection and reporting activities on agricultural pesticide usage include annual surveys of usage on field crops and alternate-year surveys for selected vegetables, fruits, and nuts. The pesticide usage surveys cover the most significant field crops, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. For each crop, major producing states are surveyed, usually accounting for 70% to 90% of the acreage grown. Results are reported for individual states and in aggregate for "major states". For more information about USDA pesticide usage surveys, contact Sam Rives, USDA/NASS, 14th & Independence Ave. S.W., Room 4162 S. Agriculture Building, Washington, DC 20250 telephone (202) 720-2248.

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