Agricultural Chemical Use Program

The NASS Agricultural Chemical Use Program is USDA’s official source of statistics about on-farm chemical use and pest management practices. Since 1990, NASS has surveyed U.S. farmers to collect information on the chemical ingredients they apply to agricultural commodities through fertilizers and pesticides. On a rotating basis, the program currently includes fruits; vegetables; major field crops such as cotton, corn, potatoes, soybeans, and wheat; and nursery and floriculture crops.  Read more about the Agricultural Chemical Use Program

Access the Data — Quick Stats

View and download current and past Chemical Use data from the NASS Quick Stats database.

Quick Stats provides complete results for all surveys conducted since 2009 and selected results for surveys conducted 1990 through 2008.

Latest Releases

Since 2009, we release the results of chemical use surveys through Quick Stats. In addition, we provide the following materials for each survey: a Highlights fact sheet, a Methodology paper, and a set of Data Tables featuring commonly requested information.

See previous releases

Future Surveys

(updated May 2017)

In the next few years, we plan to conduct chemical use surveys on the following commodities.

Future Chemical Surveys
Crop Year Commodity
2017 Cotton, fruits, soybeans, wheat
2018 Corn, soybeans, peanuts, vegetables
2019 Barley, cotton, fruits, sorghum, wheat
2020 Corn, rice, soybeans, vegetables
2021 Cotton, fruits, peanuts, wheat
2022 Soybeans, potatoes, vegetables

Return to Top

Submit Feedback

NASS invites feedback on the Agricultural Chemical Use Program. We welcome comments on the current program, suggestions for additional data collections, and other topics.

Please complete the Online Feedback Form. Feedback is accepted on an ongoing basis.

If you prefer, you may submit your comments by fax at 202-690-0675 or by U.S. Postal Service to:

Chemical Use Team
1400 Independence Ave, SW
South Building -- Room 6055
Washington, D.C. 20250-2052

Please include your phone number and email so we can follow up.

Return to Top

Contact Information

For more information on NASS' Agricultural Chemical Use Program contact the Environmental and Demographics Section at (202) 720-0684.

Return to Top

More...About the Agricultural Chemical Use Program

The program also collects information on the pest management practices farmers implement to reduce their dependence on agricultural chemicals (e.g., practices that make pesticides more effective or are an alternative to pesticides). 

Historically, data were also periodically collected on chemicals used post harvest and in livestock production. Data through 2010 continue to be available.

Return to Top

About the Data

Each survey focuses on the top-producing states that together account for the majority of U.S. acres or production of the surveyed commodity. Data are available at the state level for all surveyed states, as well as at a multi-state level including all surveyed states. Data items published include:

  • Percentage acreage treated, number of applications, rates of application, and total amounts applied of the primary macronutrients nitrogen (N), phosphate (P2O5) , and potash (K2O) as well as (since 2005) the secondary macronutrient sulfur (S). Available annually for field crops, intermittently for fruits and vegetables.
  • Percentage acreage or production treated, number of applications, rates of application, and total amounts applied of the individual active ingredients composing all registered pesticides used. Active ingredients are classified as herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, or other (regulators, desiccants, etc.), according to the pesticide product classification. Rates and amounts applied are published in the acid or metallic equivalent, as applicable. Selected items available for all commodity programs.
  • Percentage acreage or production treated, and percentage of total operations using a selection of pest management practices fitting under the PAMS (prevention, avoidance, monitoring, and suppression) classification. Selected items available for all commodity programs except livestock.

Return to Top

Who Uses the Data?

NASS collects information directly from growers, who participate voluntarily and on a confidential basis. The data are fact-based and report actual chemical use. The growers benefit directly and indirectly when public and private organizations rely on these accurate, timely data in making decisions about health, environment, safety, trade, and other issues. Some examples of how the data are used:

  • USDA —to evaluate the safety of the nation’s food supply, assess risks and benefits, make decisions about product registrations, quantify the benefits of conservation practices, and market commodities internationally.
  • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) — to assess the quality of the nation’s streams, rivers, and groundwater; the impact of human activities; and the effectiveness of integrated pest management.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — to include actual use levels in product reviews. Without NASS survey information, EPA could assume higher levels are applied, thereby over counting chemical use, overestimating risk, and perhaps cancelling registrations for chemicals farmers rely on. 
  • State government agencies — to assess pesticides’ impacts on water quality and to evaluate the need for special pesticide registrations and emergency exemptions.
  • Chemical manufacturers — to make research and development, marketing, and other business decisions.
  • Commodity groups — to help establish industry trends and educate stakeholders.
  • Public interest organizations — to educate the public and represent the public interest in policy discussions about pesticides and pest management.
  • Researchers — to study important issues such as sustainability and the impact of integrated pest management.

Return to Top

Chemical Use Survey Partnerships

Currently, NASS conducts chemical use surveys for field crops in cooperation with the USDA’s Economic Research Service as part of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey program.

To maximize public benefits, reduce overlap, and minimize federal and state costs, NASS also develops partnerships with state agencies either to use data a state collects itself (for example, California) or to collect additional data for a state (examples include Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin).

Return to Top

Previous Releases (continued)

For surveys conducted before 2009, full-text reports are available. Selected results for surveys conducted 1990 through 2008 are also available in Quick Stats.

Return to Top

Last Modified: 08/05/2019