USDA: 2012 chemical usage data for soybeans, wheat

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) published the 2012 Agricultural Chemical Use Survey data for soybeans and wheat. During the fall of 2012, NASS conducted the survey among soybean producers in 19 states and wheat producers in 15 states.

The information released includes on-farm fertilizer use, pesticide use, and pest management practices.

Soybeans. The 19 states surveyed for chemical use on soybeans accounted for 96 percent of the soybean acreage planted in the United States during the 2012 crop year (the period starting after the 2011 harvest through end of the 2012 harvest). Phosphate and potash were each applied to 37 percent of planted acres, making them the most widely used fertilizer materials, followed by nitrogen (27 percent of planted acres).

Farmers applied herbicides to 98 percent of soybean planted acres, more widely than insecticides (18 percent) and fungicides (11 percent). The top monitoring practice for managing pests was scouting for weeds, used on 94 percent of planted acres. The survey also asked about prevention, avoidance, and suppression practices for managing pests.

Wheat. The 13 states surveyed for chemical use on winter wheat accounted for 80 percent of the winter wheat acreage planted in the United States during the 2012 crop year. The four states surveyed for chemical use on spring wheat (excluding durum) accounted for 91 percent of the spring wheat (excluding durum) acreage planted in the United States in the 2012 crop year.

The two states surveyed during the 2012 crop year for chemical use on durum wheat accounted for 88 percent of the durum wheat acreage planted in the United States. The surveyed farmers applied nitrogen more widely than other fertilizers, applying it to nearly all durum and spring (excluding durum) wheat acres, and to 85 percent of winter wheat acres.

Herbicides were the most extensively used pesticide, applied to 99 percent of durum wheat acres, 97 percent of spring (excluding durum) wheat acres, and 61 percent of winter wheat acres. The survey also identified the most used herbicides by active ingredient and the top prevention, avoidance, monitoring, and suppression practices for managing pests.

To access the data via the Quick Stats 2.0 database, data tables, or release highlights, go online to

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