Monday, January 14, 2013

How Many Pounds Of Pesticides And Chemical Fertilizers Were Used On Fruit And Vegetable Crops In 2010 And 2011?


The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Agricultural Chemical Use Program is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s official source of statistics about on-farm pesticide use and pest management practices.

Fruits:
In fall 2011, NASS collected data about pesticide use and pest management practices on 23 fruit crops planted for the 2011 crop year. The survey was conducted in 12 states; results are based on 4,075 
responses. For each commodity, the states surveyed account for the majority of U.S. acres of the crop. Respondents applied a total of 331 unique pesticide active ingredients to the surveyed crops in 2011, up 
10 percent from 2009. The 331 active ingredients are categorized into four pesticide classes: insecticides (96), herbicides (80), fungicides (70), and other chemicals (85). 

This report highlights results for apples, blueberries, and peaches, which are each produced in at least six geographically diverse states. The seven states in which apple growers were surveyed represent 82 percent of the U.S. apple acreage. The six blueberry states surveyed make up 82 percent of the nation’s blueberry acreage, and the seven peach states account for 81 percent of U.S. peach acres. 

The growers surveyed applied fungicides to 84 percent of their apple acres, 87 percent of blueberry acres, and 81 percent of peach acres. They applied insecticides to 84 percent of apple, 84 percent of blueberry, and 61 percent of peach acres. Herbicides and other chemicals were used less extensively. Based on percent of planted acres treated, mancozeb was the most widely used fungicide on apples, applied to 40 percent of planted acres at an average rate of 10.117 pounds per acre for the 
crop year. Sulfur ranked second, applied to 39 percent of planted acres. 

For blueberries, fenbuconazole was the most widely used fungicide, applied to 55 percent of acres at an average rate of 0.218 pounds per acre for the crop year. This was followed closely by pyraclostrobin, applied to 50 percent of acres. For peaches the most widely applied fungicides were sulfur, propiconazole, and chlorothalonil, covering 56, 34, and 26 percent of the acreage, respectively.

Among insecticides, apple growers in the surveyed states applied carbaryl to 46 percent of the acreage (at an average rate  of 1.566 pounds per acre for the crop year), chlorantraniliprole to 45 percent, and chlorpyrifos to 44 percent. Blueberry growers applied phosmet on 38 percent of blueberry acres at an average rate of 1.683 pounds per acre for the crop year. Peach growers applied esfenvalerate to 31 percent of acres at an average rate of 0.114 pounds per acre.For all three fruits, growers used herbicides less widely than fungicides or insecticides. On apples, growers applied glyphosate isopropylamine salt to 25 percent of acres at an average of 1.604 pounds per acre for the crop year. 

Blueberry growers applied diuron to 19 percent of acres, followed closely by oryzalin (18 percent of acres) and paraquat (16 percent). Glyphosate isopropylamine salt and oxyfluorfen were each 
applied to 16 percent of peach acres. 



Vegetables:
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Agricultural Chemical Use Program is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s official source of statistics about on-farm and post-harvest fertilizer and pesticide use and pest management practices.

In the fall of 2010, NASS collected data about fertilizer, chemical use and pest management practices on 29 vegetable crops in 19 states. These data were collected as part of the biennial vegetable chemical usage program, and results are based on 3,272  individual responses.

Of the three primary macronutrients, nitrogen (N) was applied to 98 percent of sweet corn (FM) acreage at an average rate of 166 pounds per acre for the 2010 crop year. Macronutrients phosphate (P) and potash (K) were applied to 93 and 77 percent of the sweet corn acreage at an average rate of 91 and 116 pounds per acre, respectively. The secondary macronutrient, sulfur (S), was applied to 26 percent of acres at a rate of 26 pounds per acre. Fresh market sweet corn was surveyed in more program states than any other vegetable commodity. Nitrogen was applied to 98 percent of the tomato (FM) acreage at an average rate of 142 pounds per acre for the crop year. Phosphate and potash were applied to 89 and 93 percent of the acreage at an average rate of 111 and 182 pounds per acre, respectively. Sulfur applications were made on 30 percent of the acreage at an average rate of 47 pounds per acre.

Watermelon growers applied nitrogen to 99 percent of the acreage; phosphate, 91 percent; potash 88 percent; and sulfur 25 percent. The average rates per crop year for nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulfur were 138, 112, 131 and 18 pounds per acre, respectively.

Onion growers applied insecticides to 75 percent of the surveyed acreage. The more commonly used insecticides were Methomyl and Chlorpyrifos on 37 and 30 percent of the acreage, respectively. The average rates per application per crop year for these insecticides were 1.311 and 1.331 pounds per acre, respectively.

Fungicides were applied to 85 percent of the program states’ cucumber (FM) acreage in 2010. Chlorothalonil was the most utilized fungicide with 62 percent of the planted acreage being treated at an average rate of 5.427 pounds per acre per crop year. Propamocarb hydrochloride was the second most commonly utilized fungicide, applied to 31 percent of acreage. It was applied at an average rate of 1.414 pounds per acre per crop year.

Vegetable growers reported using several management practices to aid in the deterrence of pests through prevention, avoidance, monitoring and suppression strategies. The most commonly reported pest management practice for prevention was field edges, ditches or fences were chopped, sprayed, mowed, plowed or burned, used by 72 percent of the vegetable farms on 78 percent of the acres treated. For avoidance practices, rotating crops during the past 3 years was used by the majority of vegetable farms, 81 percent, on 83 percent of the acreage. For monitoring practices, scouting for insects and mites were the most commonly used scouting practices, used on 93 percent of the vegetable farms on 99 percent of the acres treated.

The most frequently used pest suppression practice was to maintain ground covers, mulches or physical barriers. This practice was used on 48 percent of the vegetable farms. Alternating pesticides with different methods of application was used on 69 percent of the acreage. - EPA NASS


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