Surveys

Agricultural Chemical Use Program

Cattle Inventory Survey

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.

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.

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

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


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


Respond Online

Click here to complete your survey online. Remember you will need your 17-digit survey code to sign in.


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, 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.

  • 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.

    • 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).


      Contact Information

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

Last Modified: 03/27/2020