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USDA Releases 2017 Pesticide Use Data On Fruits
Aug 01, 2018

The 2017 Agricultural Chemical Use Survey of fruit producers collected data (see data here) about pesticide use and pest management practices on acres planted to 22 different fruit crops. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service conducted the survey among producers in 12 states, focusing on the states that are major producers for the surveyed crops. (Fig. 1) Data are for the 2017 crop year, the one-year period beginning after the 2016 harvest and ending after the 2017 harvest. Data are available online for all 22 fruit crops (see sidebar for how to access data for each fruit). This document highlights three fruits – apples, blueberries, and peaches, each produced in at least six geographically diverse states.


Pesticide Use 


The pesticide active ingredients used on fruit are classified as herbicides (targeting weeds), insecticides (targeting insects), fungicides (targeting fungal disease), and other chemicals (targeting all other pests and other materials, including extraneous crop foliage). Blueberry and peach growers applied fungicides most widely (to 90 and 84 percent of acres, respectively) followed by insecticides (87 and 82 percent). Apple growers applied fungicides, insecticides, and other chemicals nearly equally (88, 87, and 88 percent, respectively). (Fig. 2) The box below shows the top pesticides in each category applied to the featured fruits.


Pest Management Practices 


The survey asked growers to report on practices they used to manage pests, including weeds, insects, and diseases. Fruit growers reported practices in three categories. Table 1 shows the most widely applied practices in each category. 

• Prevention practices involve actions to keep a pest population from infesting a crop or field. 

• Monitoring practices involve observing or detecting pests through systematic sampling, counting, or other forms of scouting. 

• Suppression practices involve controlling or reducing existing pest populations to mitigate crop damage.