Pesticide Use

Benefits of Pesticide Use

In 2003, NCFAP worked on a special project for CropLife America to document the benefits of pesticide use for 40 crops. This project identified the target pests and documents the historical record of pest control. Chemicals are compared with organic practices for four categories: fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and plant growth regulators. In addition, NCFAP described ongoing regulatory programs to document economic impacts of recent policies.

Executive Summary – The Value of Herbicides in U.S. Crop Production (485 kb pdf file)

Full Text – The Value of Herbicides in U.S. Crop Production (532 kb pdf file)

Press Release (72 kb pdf file)

Herbicide Nonuse: Top Ten States by Impact (18 kb pdf file)

Croplife America Statement about NCFAP Herbicide Research (91 kb pdf file)

Pesticide Use Database

First-issued in 1995, the NCFAP pesticide use database is widely used by governmental agencies, environmental groups and private industry. This unique comprehensive database has made it possible for NCFAP researchers to complete major analytical studies concerning trends in use and the impacts of regulatory activity.

In November 2000, NCFAP released an updated version of the national database which delineates the use of 220 active ingredients on 87 crops in the 48 contiguous states in 1997. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided financial support for the development of the updated database through a cooperative agreement.

A data file containing all records in the pesticide use database can be downloaded here:
Pesticide Use File (.csv)

Two reports were released in November 2000, based on the updated 1997 database:
Pesticide Use in U.S. Crop Production: 1997 National Summary Report
Trends in Pesticide Use: Comparing 1992 and 1997

In assembling the updated database, all available pesticide usage survey reports were collected. NCFAP staff assembled an electronic library of 244 pesticide use reports, and designed a menu-driven report retrieval system, available on cd, allowing users to view and print reports that contain information pertaining to specific crops, states, or pesticides.

The NCFAP database is used extensively by U.S. regulatory agencies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has incorporated NCFAP’s pesticide use databases into the information resources of its regional pest management centers The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has prepared county level maps of pesticide use based on NCFAP’s usage data for 1992, available at The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Biological and Economic Analysis Division (EPA BEAD) has integrated NCFAP’s usage data for 1992 and 1997 with other public and private sources of usage data in a computational system which summarizes use of an active ingredient by crop. For many crops and states, NCFAP’s usage records are the only source of data in EPA’s system.

USDA’s Office of Pest Management Policy has provided funding through the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service to support NCFAP’s next update of the pesticide use database for 2002, including the development of pesticide use data for watersheds, states and regions for environmental monitoring and assessments of pest management options, and to arrange for semiannual meetings of the Committee on Pesticide Use Data.

Food Quality Protection Act

In order to inform the debate regarding the impact of policy under FQPA, NCFAP has prepared several reports: The Uses and Benefits of Organophosphate and Carbamate Insecticides in U.S. Crop Production, December 1997
Aflatoxin and the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, May 1997
An Analysis of the Economic Benefit Provision of the the Food Quality Protection Act

Leonard Gianessi also presented testimony before the Subcommittee on Departmental Operations, Nutrition and Foreign Agriculture of the Committee on Agriculture of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 25, 1998.

NCFAP worked with the Alliance for Responsible Regulation of Insecticides to design one pagesummary sheets which includes insecticide use data, crop production data and the importance of insecticides in their management. NCFAP has prepared 100 of these information sheets.