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1996-1997 Pesticide Market Estimates: Table Highlights

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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 Only:

(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 2).
  • 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 5).
  • 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 nation’s 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-third’s 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 7).
  • 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 9).
  • 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).
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