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Publication #PI-142

Pesticide Use Trends in the United States: A 25-Year US Summary1

Frederick M. Fishel2

Introduction

The EPA, in cooperation with the USDA and FDA, is responsible for regulating the production and use of pesticides in the US. This document provides data on volumes used and sales of pesticides from the most up-to-date EPA survey data available for the 25-year period, 1982–2007. The intent of this information is only to present an objective profile and does not attempt to interpret, reach conclusions about, or make inferences regarding the data. Conclusions should not be drawn in regards to impacts on human health, the environment, or the economy.

Data Sources

The data reported in this document are based upon EPA estimates. The EPA does not have a program devoted specifically to estimating pesticide use; rather, it uses the best available information from the public domain and proprietary sources. The data are approximate values and not statistically precise. The sources that the EPA consults for compiling this information include the following:

  • The Pesticide Data Center in the Biological and Economic Analysis Division of the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs;

  • Several national database services for compiling agricultural pesticide use data, including the USDA; and

  • Others from private pesticide marketing research companies.

Explanation of Data Components

The data presented in Tables 1–4 separate broad classes of pesticides—herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and other pesticides. The "herbicide" data include plant growth regulators (PGR) with them, while "fungicides" and "other" pesticides are presented as combined data and include sulfur, petroleum oil, nematicides, fumigants, rodenticides, molluscicides, aquatic, and pesticides for the control of birds and fish. Data for wood preservatives, specialty biocides, and chlorine/hypochlorites are not included in the tables under any pesticide class. Totals may not add precisely due to rounding. Tables 1–4 report expenditures as a total amount for all market sectors (Table 1), and they also are broken into the sectors of agriculture (Table 2), industry/commercial/government (Table 3), and home and garden (Table 4). Industrial/commercial/governmental uses involve pesticides applied by professional applicators to industrial, commercial, and governmental facilities, as well as custom/commercial applications to homes, gardens, and lawns. The amounts of pesticides used are reported likewise—the totals and broken into market sector. Data contained in Tables 5–8 are presented as pounds of active ingredient (a.i.) per acre. In the "other conventional" pesticide category presented in Tables 5–8, the data include nematicides, fumigants, rodenticides, and other miscellaneous conventional pesticides. The data presented in the "other" pesticide category includes sulfur, petroleum, and other chemicals used for pesticides, such as sulfuric acid and insect repellents.

Additional Information

Grube, A., T. Kiely, D. Donaldson, and L. Wu. 2011. Pesticide Industry Sales and Usage: 2006 and 2007 Market Estimates. EPA's Biological and Economic Analysis Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, and Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances. https://www.epa.gov/pesticides/pesticides-industry-sales-and-usage-2006-and-2007-market-estimates

Tables

Table 1. 

US pesticide expenditures, all market sectors.

Year

Expenditure (Millions of Dollars)

 

Herbicides/PGR

Insecticides

Fungicide and Other

Total

2007

5,856

4,337

2,261

12,454

2006

5,673

4,091

2,020

11,784

2005

5,979

4,014

1,984

11,977

2004

6,166

3,874

1,865

11,905

2003

6,240

3,515

1,670

11,425

2002

6,250

3,355

1,566

11,171

2001

6,410

3,124

1,556

11,090

2000

6,365

3,129

1,671

11,165

1999

6,368

3,046

1,741

11,155

1998

6,853

2,872

1,691

11,416

1997

6,846

2,957

1,528

11,331

1996

6,599

2,849

1,521

10,969

1995

6,276

3,017

1,488

10,781

1994

5,944

2,722

1,408

10,074

1993

5,094

2,479

1,259

8,832

1992

5,004

2,198

1,183

8,385

1991

4,682

2,139

1,223

8,044

1990

4,473

2,083

1,171

7,727

1989

4,305

1,978

1,141

7,424

1988

4,121

1,964

1,190

7,275

1987

3,973

2,008

1,049

7,030

1986

3,858

1,759

967

6,584

1985

3,920

1,823

963

6,706

1984

4,488

1,809

708

7,005

1983

3,870

2,074

731

6,675

1982

3,772

2,014

540

6,326

Table 2. 

US pesticide expenditures, agricultural sector.

Year

Expenditure (Millions of Dollars)

 

Herbicides/PGR

Insecticides

Fungicide and Other

Total

2007

4,211

1,999

1,659

7,869

2006

4,077

1,830

1,432

7,339

2005

4,431

1,829

1,410

7,670

2004

4,645

1,750

1,301

7,696

2003

4,784

1,434

1,162

7,380

2002

4,808

1,470

1,069

7,347

2001

4,987

1,326

1,091

7,404

2000

5,007

1,411

1,194

7,612

1999

5,012

1,370

1,243

7,625

1998

5,632

1,427

1,209

8,268

1997

5,610

1,551

1,124

8,285

1996

5,399

1,480

1,128

8,007

1995

5,112

1,607

1,107

7,826

1994

4,008

1,293

1,036

7,137

1993

3,987

1,123

895

6,005

1992

3,915

1,058

829

5,802

1991

3,644

687

884

5,215

1990

3,463

1,067

842

5,372

1989

3,255

978

800

5,033

1988

3,080

1,010

775

4,865

1987

2,935

1,145

650

4,730

1986

2,775

914

600

4,289

1985

2,900

990

615

4,505

1984

3,390

903

418

4,711

1983

2,800

1,261

450

4,511

1982

2,465

1,109

268

3,842

Table 3. 

US pesticide expenditures, industry/commercial/government sector.

Year

Expenditure (Millions of Dollars)

 

Herbicides/PGR

Insecticides

Fungicide and Other

Total

2007

896

709

316

1,921

2006

873

694

311

1,878

2005

850

679

306

1,835

2004

847

675

304

1,826

2003

807

688

257

1,752

2002

802

546

255

1,603

2001

792

510

233

1,535

2000

762

468

255

1,485

1999

794

463

289

1,546

1998

728

425

292

1,445

1997

743

386

214

1,343

1996

721

458

208

1,387

1995

700

527

202

1,429

1994

679

533

197

1,409

1993

660

406

191

1,257

1992

648

378

186

1,212

1991

616

328

176

1,120

1990

593

307

169

1,069

1989

630

317

180

1,127

1988

600

394

240

1,234

1987

576

330

210

1,116

1986

642

316

192

1,150

1985

600

315

180

1,095

1984

720

365

150

1,235

1983

720

288

144

1,152

1982

852

305

142

1,299

Table 4. 

US pesticide expenditures, home and garden sector.

Year

Expenditure (Millions of Dollars)

 

Herbicides/PGR

Insecticides

Fungicide and Other

Total

2007

749

1,629

286

2,664

2006

723

1,567

277

2,567

2005

698

1,506

268

2,472

2004

674

1,449

260

2,383

2003

649

1,393

251

2,293

2002

640

1,339

242

2,221

2001

631

1,288

232

2,151

2000

596

1,250

222

2,068

1999

562

1,213

209

1,984

1998

493

1,020

190

1,703

1997

493

1,020

190

1,703

1996

479

910

185

1,574

1995

465

883

179

1,527

1994

456

895

175

1,526

1993

446

870

174

1,490

1992

441

762

168

1,371

1991

423

724

162

1,309

1990

417

710

160

1,287

1989

420

683

161

1,264

1988

441

601

175

1,217

1987

462

534

189

1,185

1986

441

529

175

1,145

1985

420

518

168

1,106

1984

378

542

140

1,060

1983

350

525

137

1,012

1982

445

600

130

1,175

Table 5. 

US pesticide amounts used, all market sectors.

Year

Million Pounds of Active Ingredient

 

Herbicides/PGR

Insecticides

Fungicides

Other Conv.

Other

Total

2007

531

93

70

163

276

1,133

2006

498

99

73

151

306

1,127

2005

513

104

78

149

308

1,152

2004

521

114

75

175

325

1,210

2003

527

115

76

150

335

1,203

2002

527

130

71

157

321

1,206

2001

553

105

73

157

315

1,203

2000

542

122

74

188

308

1,234

1999

534

126

79

173

332

1,244

1998

555

103

86

168

294

1,206

1997

568

112

81

197

270

1,228

1996

578

116

79

222

234

1,229

1995

556

125

77

203

249

1,210

1994

583

124

79

199

244

1,229

1993

527

115

80

192

248

1,162

1992

554

116

81

189

246

1,186

1991

546

114

86

182

226

1,154

1990

564

121

91

173

252

1,201

1989

567

123

98

154

251

1,193

1988

557

132

99

137

266

1,191

1987

532

141

100

1,175

1986

590

151

109

1,266

1985

611

161

110

1,304

1984

634

173

109

1,345

1983

573

185

115

1,308

1982

620

198

117

1,382

A dash (—) indicates that an estimate is not available.

Table 6. 

US pesticide amounts used, agricultural sector.

Year

Million Pounds of Active Ingredient

 

Herbicides/PGR

Insecticides

Fungicides

Other Conv.

Other

Total

2007

442

65

44

133

193

877

2006

407

69

46

121

223

866

2005

421

73

47

119

225

885

2004

425

82

43

145

242

937

2003

426

80

43

120

252

921

2002

417

97

40

127

238

919

2001

433

73

42

127

232

907

2000

432

90

44

156

226

948

1999

428

93

45

140

250

956

1998

465

69

54

136

212

936

1997

470

79

53

165

188

955

1996

481

81

51

190

152

955

1995

461

85

49

170

168

933

1994

485

80

48

163

163

939

1993

425

72

47

154

166

864

1992

450

78

45

150

161

884

1991

440

77

47

144

140

848

1990

455

82

50

133

164

884

1989

460

85

54

113

161

873

1988

450

91

54

95

177

867

1987

425

98

52

846

1986

481

105

59

927

1985

501

113

59

961

1984

516

122

56

988

1983

455

131

59

941

1982

503

141

59

1011

A dash (—) indicates that an estimate is not available.

Table 7. 

US pesticide amounts used, industry/commercial/government sector.

Year

Million Pounds of Active Ingredient

 

Herbicides/PGR

Insecticides

Fungicides

Other Conv.

Other

Total

2007

46

14

19

28

22

129

2006

45

14

20

28

22

129

2005

44

14

22

28

22

130

2004

45

13

22

28

22

130

2003

48

14

22

28

22

134

2002

48

14

20

28

22

132

2001

49

15

19

28

22

133

2000

48

17

19

30

22

136

1999

52

19

24

31

22

148

1998

41

21

24

30

22

138

1997

49

20

20

30

22

141

1996

49

24

20

30

22

145

1995

48

28

20

31

22

149

1994

52

30

23

34

20

159

1993

56

30

25

36

20

167

1992

58

27

28

36

21

170

1991

60

26

30

37

21

174

1990

63

27

31

38

22

181

1989

63

27

31

38

22

181

1988

64

27

32

39

22

184

1987

65

28

34

188

1986

68

29

36

197

1985

70

30

37

201

1984

78

31

38

212

1983

80

32

40

221

1982

80

33

41

223

A dash (—) indicates that an estimate is not available.

Table 8. 

US pesticide amounts used, home and garden sector.

Year

Million Pounds of Active Ingredient

 

Herbicides/PGR

Insecticides

Fungicides

Other Conv.

Other

Total

2007

43

14

7

2

61

127

2006

46

16

7

2

61

132

2005

48

17

9

2

61

137

2004

51

19

10

2

61

143

2003

53

21

11

2

61

148

2002

62

19

11

2

61

155

2001

71

17

12

2

61

163

2000

62

15

11

2

60

150

1999

54

14

10

2

60

140

1998

49

13

8

2

60

132

1997

49

13

8

2

60

132

1996

48

12

8

2

60

130

1995

47

12

8

2

59

128

1994

46

13

8

2

61

130

1993

46

13

8

2

62

131

1992

46

12

8

2

64

132

1991

46

12

9

2

65

134

1990

46

12

10

2

66

136

1989

44

12

13

2

68

139

1988

43

13

13

3

67

139

1987

42

14

14

140

1986

41

16

14

141

1985

40

18

14

142

1984

40

20

15

145

1983

38

22

16

146

1982

37

24

17

148

A dash (—) indicates that an estimate is not available.

Footnotes

1.

This document is PI-142, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date January 2007. Revised February 2011, April 2014, and February 2017. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Frederick M. Fishel, professor, Agronomy Department, and director, Pesticide Information Office; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.