USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently released the results of agrochemical use surveys on field crops, including cotton, soybeans and wheat in 2015. Data are for the 2015 crop year, the one-year period beginning after the 2014 harvest and ending after the 2015 harvest.
NASS conducted the survey among cotton producers in 11 states that together accounted for 94 percent of the 8.6 million acres planted to cotton in the United States in 2015: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Fertilizer refers to a soil-enriching input that contains one or more plant nutrients, primarily nitrogen (N), phosphate (P2O5), and potash (K2O). For the 2015 crop year, farmers applied nitrogen to 78 percent of planted acres, at an average rate of 79 pounds per acre, for a total of 503.7 million pounds. They applied phosphate to 56 percent of cotton planted acres and potash to 42 percent of acres.
The pesticide active ingredients used on cotton are classified here as herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and other chemicals (targeting all other pests and other materials, including extraneous crop foliage). Herbicides were used most extensively, applied to 92 percent of planted acres. Other chemicals such as desiccants were applied to 76 percent, insecticides and fungicides to fewer. Among herbicides, two different forms of glyphosate
were the most widely applied active ingredients, followed by trifluralin.
NASS conducted the survey in 19 states that accounted for 96 percent of the 82.7 million acres planted to soybeans in the United States in 2015: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Farmers applied nitrogen to 28 percent of planted acres, at an average rate of 17 pounds per acre, for a total of 382.3 million pounds. They applied phosphate to 39 percent of soybean planted acres and potash to 38 percent of acres.
Herbicides were used most extensively, applied to 96 percent of planted acres. Insecticides and fungicides were applied to 22 and 11 percent of planted acres, respectively.
Glyphosate were the most widely applied active ingredients. They were also the top herbicides in a similar survey in 2012.
NASS conducted the survey in 16 states that together accounted for 87 percent of the 54.6 million acres planted to wheat in the United States in 2015, including 86 percent of winter wheat acres, 91 percent of spring wheat acres, and 88 percent of durum wheat acres.
Farmers applied nitrogen to nearly all acres planted to durum and spring wheat. And they used 42 different pesticide active ingredients on durum wheat acres, 59 different ingredients on other spring wheat acres, and 96 on winter wheat acres. Herbicides were the most widely used, applied to 61 percent of winter wheat planted acres and nearly all durum and other spring wheat.