The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released the results of its 2020 Agricultural Chemical Use Survey of vegetable producers across the country. The data relates to pesticide use and pest management practices on 22 different vegetable crops.
Producers in 18 states participated in the survey, which included eight-focused crops in Florida and eight in Georgia.
The pesticide active ingredients used on vegetables are classified as herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and other chemicals.
Here are a few takeaways:
Onion growers applied herbicides (targeting weeds) to more planted acres (91% of planted acres) than fungicides (90%) or insecticides (73%).
Pumpkin producers applied herbicides and fungicides to 79% and 75% of planted acres respectively.
Snap bean producers applied herbicides to 94% of planted acres but insecticides (64%) and fungicides (55%) to fewer acres.
As far as pest management practices; 76% of planted acres were used to plow down crop residue; 90% had rotated crops during the past three years; 95% were scouted for insects and mites; 94% were scouted for diseases; and 58% used pesticides with different mechanisms of action to keep pests from becoming resistant to pesticides.
The Agricultural Chemical Use data is used by producers, consumers, suppliers, policymakers, USDA and other federal and state agencies to make decisions about health, environment, safety and trade issues.