2000 Pest Management Practices Survey Results
Released: May 31, 2001
For more information contact Carmen Pennington at 1-800-835-2612.
The Pest Management Practices 2000 Summary is based largely on data compiled from a nationwide farmer survey conducted in February 2001. Results refer to responses from sampled producers concerning specific practices. The producers were first asked how many acres of a specific commodity they grew in 2000, followed by questions regarding the use of specific pest management practices, in a yes/no format. Pests were defined as weeds, insects, and diseases. If the respondent used a specific practice on a crop, it was assumed that the practice was used on all acres of that crop. For example, if a producer had 500 acres of wheat, and used field mapping of previous weed problems to assist in making weed management decisions, it was assumed that all 500 acres were mapped.

The data are published in two tables for each crop: percent of acres receiving the specific pest management practice and percent of farms using the specific pest management practice. These percentages are published at the U.S. and regional levels. For barley, corn, soybeans, wheat, fruits and nuts, vegetables, and all other crops, the percentages refer only to farms and planted acres. For alfalfa hay and other hay, the percentages refer to farms and harvested acres. The complete report is available from our office or in the national release located on the Internet at www.usda.gov/nass/pubs/rptscal.htm.

A review of overall survey results showed widespread increases in the use of pest management practices on field crops, hay, and vegetables nationwide, compared to 1999. The use of pest management practices on fruit and nut farms was relatively unchanged, although significant decreases for several categories were noted.

Reasons for the changes vary by crop type, but in general, farmers in the 2000 crop year responded to unusual national and regional economic and climatological events. Extremely low commodity prices combined with escalating energy and input costs placed many producers in a cost-price squeeze. Excessive moisture in some areas and resulting pest pressures, along with drought and its carryover affects in other areas, likely played significant roles in the adoption of more cost effective pest management practices by farmers. Continued educational efforts on integrated pest management and precision farming practices, and a change in data collection methodology for this survey also may have had effects on overall survey results.

The leading pest management practice for barley continued to be rotating crops to control pests. Fifty-eight percent of the farms used this practice on 75 percent of the acres across the United States. Pest management practices used on 40 percent or more of the barley acres include tillage/etc. to manage pests, cleaning implements after fieldwork, rotating crops to control pests, scouting for pests to make decisions, field mapping of weed problems, weather monitoring, and alternating the use of pesticides.

Nationally, the leading pest management practice for wheat was rotating crops to control pests, which was used by 58 percent of the wheat farms on 65 percent of the wheat acres. Cleaning implements after fieldwork was the second most widely used practice, with 62 percent of the acres and 49 percent of the farms. Using tillage/etc. to manage pests and scouting for pests were each reported on 50 percent or more of the acres.

Scouting for pests and cleaning implements after fieldwork were the most widely used pest management practices on alfalfa acreage, each at 40 percent. Tillage/etc. to manage pests, and rotating crops to control pests were used on 38 and 36 percent of the alfalfa acreage, respectively. Thirty-four percent of the farms with hay, other than alfalfa, used tillage/etc. to manage pests. Cleaning implements after fieldwork was used on 26 percent of the farms and scouting for pests was used on 14 percent of the farms.
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