Agricultural Pesticide Use in America

Here is a new publication from UF/IFAS about the amount and trends of pesticide use in agriculture in America from EPA data. The publication was not interpreting or drawing conclusions based on the numbers just stating the numbers as facts.

The data shows that the US spent $7 billion on pesticides in each of the years 2006 and 2007. Herbicides accounted for more than half of those expenses. There were more than 600 million pounds of active ingredients applied with over half of that being herbicides. Remember that when you buy pesticide only a fraction of the total is actual active ingredients the rest is either inert or a carrier of some type to deliver the pesticide. It got me thinking about how much pesticide is that really. I could probably fit a ton of active ingredients (a.i.) in my pickup truck. So that would be about 300,000 trucks full of active ingredients. Or two pounds of pesticide a.i. for every man, woman, and child in the US, or 0.265 lbs a.i. for every acre of land in the US. Interesting! Where does all the pesticide go every year? Any comments?

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