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1996-1997 Pesticide Market Estimates: Introduction

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Introduction | Authors & Acknowledgments


This report provides a profile of the U.S. pesticide sales and usage for 1996 and 1997. It contains 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, and individuals involved in production and use of pesticides, number of pesticides, certified applicators, and on a number of other topics. Graphic representations of the data are included along with a number of tables.

Much of the tabular information in this report is for the years 1996 and 1997, but historical data are also presented. This report and the edition for 1994 and 1995 contain a number of reestimated historical values for volume used and dollar expenditures which are presented in Table 13 through Table 16a. Care should be taken to use the new values for 1993 and earlier years rather than those from prior editions.

Following this Introduction, there is an Overview of total pesticide usage in the U.S. and Highlights of the tables which comprise a majority of the report. Also, some background is presented on EPA and USDA pesticide usage data collection activities. A Glossary is included at the end of the report to help the reader with key terms used in the report.

This report is intended only to present objective economic profile and trend information reflecting the best available information on pesticide sales and usage. It does not attempt to interpret or reach conclusions about implications of the data. Nor does it include details such as by chemical grouping, family, geographic area, crop, use site, etc. Detailed analysis of causal factors or implications, such as potential impacts on human health, the environment, or the economy are beyond the scope of this project. If you have questions regarding this report or need further information, please contact the authors at the following address: BEAD/OPP/EPA (7503C), 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460; email: grube.arthur@epa.gov (telephone (703) 308-8095 or (703) 308-8094).

About this Report

EPA, along with the States and other agencies such as FDA and USDA, is responsible for regulation of the production and use of pesticides in the U.S. under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This report is designed to provide contemporary and historical economic information on the U.S. pesticide producing and using sectors covered by state and federal regulatory programs. 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 issued 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 break-outs 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. They are also included in a Glossary of terms presented at end of this report.

There is no program at EPA, nor at any other agency, devoted specifically to estimation of the overall pesticide market in quantitative and dollar terms each year. Accordingly, this report is prepared based on the best available information from the public domain and proprietary sources. The numbers presented in the report should be considered approximate rather than precise values with known statistical properties.

The Agency has available a wide variety of published and proprietary information upon which to base estimates. Extensive files and library materials on pesticide usage are maintained at the Pesticide Data Center in the Biological and Economic Analysis Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, EPA. For the agricultural sector, which accounts for a majority of use of conventional pesticides, the Agency has available five national data bases/services including those from 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. For both the agricultural and non-agricultural estimates, use is made of proprietary data sources, with the permission of vendors. 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 grower/user samples or panels (e.g., 15,000-20,000 respondents annually) to use of more limited interview/survey approaches of growers, applicators, pesticide suppliers, and pest management consultants. Each source (and its method) must be considered on its merits in judging the usefulness and relevance to making annual market estimates. Corroboration and cross checking are done where possible.

Throughout this report, the abbreviation “a.i.” is used in lieu of the words “active ingredient” in order to save space.

EPA and USDA Survey Activities

In recent years, through a series of coordinated initiatives, EPA and USDA have been improving the information available on pesticide usage. This has been accomplished with EPA focusing on non-agricultural usage sites and USDA focusing on agricultural usage sites. EPA conducted a survey of pesticide usage by homeowners in 1990 and another survey of usage by commercial applicators in 1993. For further information about EPA pesticide survey and data activities, contact Steve Nako, BEAD/OPP/EPA (7503C), 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460—telephone (703) 308-8092 or e-mail at nako.steve@epa.gov.

Since 1990, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Economic Research Service (ERS) have 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 and fruits. Pesticide data on nut crops were collected for the 1991 crop year only, but are being collected again for 1999. The pesticide usage surveys cover the most significant field crops, vegetables, and fruits. 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 Doug Kleweno, USDA/NASS, 14th & Independence Ave. S.W., Room 4162 S. Agriculture Building, Washington, DC 20250—telephone (202) 720-2248 or e-mail at dgkleweno@nass.usda.gov.

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