Summary of Pesticide Use Report Data 1999
Indexed by Chemical

Back to 1999 Pesticide Use Reporting (PUR) Menu.

Preliminary Data


CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PESTICIDE REGULATION
California Environmental Protection Agency
1001 I Street
Sacramento, California 95814-3510
Gray Davis, Governor
Winston H. Hickox
Secretary for Environmental Protection
Paul E. Helliker, Director
Department of Pesticide Regulation
State Seal

September 2000

Any portion of this report may be reproduced for any but profit-making purposes.
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If you have questions concerning this report, call (916) 445-4100.

Table of Contents

Order Form

I. INTRODUCTION

V. Summary of Pesticide Use Report Data 1999 Indexed by Chemical, PDF (3.1 mb)


Questions regarding the Summary of Pesticide Use Report Data or information regarding the availability and cost of the computerized database should be directed to: Department of Pesticide Regulation - Environmental Monitoring and Pest Management Branch 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814-3510. Telephone (916) 324-4100


Order Information

In order to continue to make the Summary of Pesticide Use Report Data and the Pesticide Registration Number Book available, it is necessary to charge for the costs of reproduction and mailing.

Beginning with the 1993 reports, the Summary of Pesticide Use Report Data indexed by chemical or commodity are available on floppy disk in ASCII format. Also available is the Annual Pesticide Use Report Data (database) on CD-ROM.

The Summary of Pesticide Use Reports is available in two formats. One report is indexed by chemical and lists the amount of each pesticide used, the commodity on which it was used, the number of applications, and the acres/units treated. The second report is indexed by commodity and lists the chemicals used, the number of applications, amount of pesticides used, and the acres/units treated.

Please use the DPR Publications Order Form, PDF (35 kb) to order reports.


I. INTRODUCTION

Development and Implementation of the Pesticide Use Reporting System

This 1999 Summary of Pesticide Use Report Data includes agricultural applications and other selected uses reported in California. To provide public access to the data as soon as possible, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is releasing preliminary 1999 data before the majority of error corrections have been completed. Some errors were removed from the published database, but data correction is ongoing. Data which has undergone more extensive correction will be released by the end of 2000.

Under full use reporting, which began in 1990, California became the first state to require reporting of all agricultural pesticide use, including amounts applied and types of crops or places (e.g., structures, roadsides) treated. Commercial applications-including structural fumigation, pest control, and turf applications-must also be reported. The main exceptions to full use reporting are home and garden applications, and most industrial and institutional uses. Pesticide use reporting is explained in more detail below.

This summary data represents a small fraction of the information gathered under full use reporting. DPR uses the data to help estimate dietary risk and to ensure compliance with clean air laws and ground water regulations. Site-specific use report data, combined with geographic data on endangered species habitats, also helps county agricultural commissioners resolve potential pesticide use conflicts. Detailed, individual pesticide use report data may be obtained from DPR for in‑depth, analytical purposes.

By 1998, DPR had contracted with agricultural commissioners in 56 of the state's 58 counties for the electronic submittal of their pesticide use data to DPR. This accounted for over 99 percent of the total reported pesticide usage in the State. As the number of counties participating in this program has increased, quality of the pesticide use data has continued to improve.

Types of Pesticide Applications Reported

Partial reporting of agricultural pesticide use has been in place in California since at least the 1950s. Beginning in 1970, anyone who used restricted materials was required to file a pesticide use report with the county agricultural commissioner. The criteria established to designate a pesticide as a restricted material include hazard to public health, farm workers, domestic animals, honeybees, the environment, wildlife, or other crops. Restricted materials, with certain exceptions, may be possessed or used only by, or under the supervision of, licensed or certified persons and only in accordance with an annual permit issued by the county agricultural commissioner.

In addition, the State required commercial pest control operators (those in the business of applying pesticides, such as agricultural applicators, structural fumigators, and professional gardeners) to report all pesticides used, whether restricted or nonrestricted. These reports included information about the pesticide applied, when and where the application was made, and the crop involved if the application was in agriculture. The reports were entered into a computerized database and summarized by chemical and crop in annual reports.

With implementation of full use reporting in 1990, the following pesticide uses are required to be reported to the commissioner, who, in turn, reports the data to DPR:

  • For the production of any agricultural commodity, except livestock.
  • For the treatment of postharvest agricultural commodities.
  • For landscape maintenance in parks, golf courses, and cemeteries.
  • For roadside and railroad rights-of-way.
  • For poultry and fish production.
  • Any application of a restricted material.
  • Any application of a pesticide with the potential to pollute ground water [listed in the California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 6, Chapter 4, Subchapter 1, Article 1, Section 6800 (b)] when used outdoors in industrial and institutional settings.
  • Any application by a licensed pest control operator.

The primary exceptions to the use reporting requirements are home and garden use and most industrial and institutional uses.

How Pesticide Data Is Used

DPR undertook the expansion of use reporting primarily in response to concerns of many individuals and groups, including government officials, scientists, farmers, legislators, and public interest groups. It was generally acknowledged that the system for estimating dietary exposure to pesticide residues did not provide sufficient data on which to make realistic assessments; this often resulted in overestimates of risk. Farm worker representatives were also demanding more information to determine exposure and potential risk to those who handle pesticides or who work in treated fields.

There are several key areas in which data generated by full use reporting are proving beneficial:

Risk Assessment

Without information on actual pesticide use, regulatory agencies conducting risk assessment assume all planted crop acreage is treated with many pesticides, though most crops are treated with just a few chemicals. If the assumptions used by regulatory agencies are incorrect, regulators could make judgments on pesticide risks that are too cautious by several orders of magnitude, reducing the credibility of risk management decisions. The use report data, on the other hand, provides actual use data so DPR can better assess risk and make more realistic risk management decisions.

After the passage of the federal Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) in 1996, complete pesticide use data became even more important to commodity groups in California and to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). The Act contains a new food safety standard against which all pesticide tolerances must be measured. The increased interest in the state's pesticide use data, especially for calculating percent crop treated, came at a time when DPR was increasing the efficiency with which it produced its annual report. DPR was able to provide up-to-date use data and summaries to commodity groups, University of California specialists, U.S. EPA programs and other interested parties as they developed the necessary information for the reassessment of existing tolerances.

Worker Health and Safety

Under the reporting regulations, pest control operators must give farmers a written notice after every pesticide application that includes the date and time the application was completed, and the reentry and preharvest intervals (respectively, the intervals between the time a pesticide is applied and when workers may enter the field, and the time of application and when a commodity can be harvested). This notice gives the farmer accurate information to help keep workers from entering fields prematurely, and also lets the farmer know the earliest date a commodity can be harvested.

DPR's Worker Health and Safety Branch also uses the data for worker exposure assessment as part of developing an overall risk characterization document.

Public Health

The expanded reporting system provides DPR and the State Department of Health Services with complete pesticide use data for evaluating possible human illness clusters in epidemiological studies.

Endangered Species

DPR is working with the commissioners to combine site-specific use report data with geographic information system-based data on locations of endangered species. The resulting database helps commissioners resolve potential conflicts over pesticide use when endangered species may occur. DPR and the commissioners can also examine patterns of pesticide use near habitats to determine the potential impact of proposed use limitations. With location-specific data on pesticide use, restrictions on use can be better designed to protect endangered species while still allowing necessary pest control.

Water Quality

In meeting the requirements of the Pesticide Contamination Prevention Act of 1985, site-specific records help track pesticide use in areas known to be susceptible to ground water contamination. Determinations can also be made from the records on whether a contaminated well is physically associated with agricultural practices. These records also provide data to help researchers determine why certain soil types are more prone to ground water contamination.

Since 1983, DPR has had a program to work with the rice industry and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board to reduce contamination of surface water by rice pesticides. Using PUR data to help in pinpointing specific agricultural practices, more precise alternative use recommendations can be made to assure protection of surface water.

Air Quality

Many pesticide products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to the formation of smog. DPR worked with the state Air Resources Board to put together a State Implementation Plan under the federal Clean Air Act to reduce emissions of all sources of VOCs, including pesticides, in nonattainment areas of the state. DPR's contribution to the plan included accurate data on the amount of VOCs contained in pesticides and the ability to inventory the use of those pesticides through pesticide use reporting.

Pest Management

The Department uses the PUR database to understand patterns and changes in pest management practices. This information can be used to determine possible alternatives to pesticides that are subject to regulatory actions and to help determine possible impacts of different regulatory actions on pest management.

The PUR is used to help meet the needs of FQPA, which requires pesticide use information for determining the appropriateness of pesticide residue tolerances. As part of this process many commodity groups have created crop profiles, which include information on the pest management practices and available options, both chemical and nonchemical. Pesticide use data is critical to developing these lists of practices and options.

DPR manages several grant programs that fund projects to develop, implement, and demonstrate reduced-risk pest management strategies. One of these programs is the Pest Management Alliance Grants. This program provides grant money to growers, commodity boards, farm advisors, urban site representatives, researchers, and state government to identify critical pest management needs, environmental or human exposure issues resulting from pesticide use, and to develop a program to solve the critical problems. To help the groups in their evaluations of current pest management practices, DPR provides data on use of all pesticides on the Alliance crop or site. DPR and other funding agencies can also use the PUR to help evaluate the effectiveness of the programs they have funded.

Recently, DPR has published general analyses of statewide pesticide use patterns and trends. The first analysis covered the years 1991 to 1995, and the second more detailed analysis covered 1991 to 1996. These analyses identified high-use pesticides, the crops to which those pesticides were applied, trends in use, and the pesticides most responsible for changes in use. In addition, since 1997, the annual reports Summary of Pesticide Use Report Data include summary trends of pesticides in several different categories such as carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and groundwater contaminants.

Processor and Retailer Requirements

Food processors, produce packers, and retailers often require farmers to submit a complete history of pesticide use on crops. DPR's use report form often satisfies this requirement.

II. COMMENTS AND CLARIFICATIONS OF DATA

The following comments and points should be taken into consideration when analyzing data contained in this report:

Terminology

The following terminology is used in this report:

  • Number of agricultural applications - Number of applications of a pesticide made to production agriculture. More detailed information is given below under "Number of Applications".
  • Pounds applied - Number of pounds of an active ingredient.
  • Unit type - The amount listed in this column is one of the following:
  • A = Acreage
  • C = Cubic feet (of commodity treated)
  • K = Thousand cubic feet (of commodity treated)
  • P = Pounds (of commodity treated)
  • S = Square feet
  • T = Tons (of commodity treated)
  • U = Miscellaneous units (e.g., number of tractors, trees, bins, etc.)

Commodity Codes

DPR's pesticide product label database is used to cross-check data entries to determine if the product reported used is registered on the reported commodity. The DPR label database uses a crop coding system based on crop names used by the U.S. EPA to prepare official label language. However, this system caused some problems until DPR modified it to account for U.S. EPA's grouping of certain crops under generic names. Problems occurred when the label language in the database called a crop by one name, and the use report used another. For example, a grower may have reported a pesticide use on "almonds," but the actual label on the pesticide product--coded into the database--stated the pesticide was to be used on "nuts." To eliminate records being rejected as "errors" because the specific commodity listed on the use report is not on the label, DPR modified the database. To designate a commodity not specifically listed on the label as a correct use, a qualifier code is appended to the commodity code in the label database. In our example above, a qualifier code would be attached to the "almond" code when nuts are only listed on the label. This system greatly reduces the number of rejections.

Plants and commodities grown in greenhouse and nursery operations represented a challenge in use reporting because of their diversity. Six commodity groupings were suggested by industry and incorporate terminology that are generally known and accepted. The six use reporting categories are: greenhouse-grown cut flowers or greens; outdoor-grown cut flowers or greens; greenhouse-grown plants in containers; outdoor container/field-grown plants; greenhouse-grown transplants/propagative material; and outdoor-grown transplants/propagative material.

Tomatoes and grapes were also separated into two categories because of public and processor interest in differentiating pesticide use. Tomatoes are assigned two codes to differentiate between fresh market and processing categories. One code was assigned to table grapes, which includes grapes grown for fresh market, raisins, canning or juicing. A second code was assigned to wine grapes.

Unregistered Use

The report contains several entries that reflect the use of a pesticide on a commodity for which the pesticide is not currently registered. This sometimes occurs because the original use report was in error-either the pesticide or the commodity was inaccurately reported. [DPR's computer program checks that the commodity is listed on the label, but such errors appear in the PUR possibly because of errors in the label database. Also, the computer program does not check whether the pesticide product was registered at the time of application. Thus ethyl parathion is reported on crops for which it has not been registered since 1992.] DPR is continuing to implement methods to identify and reduce these types of reporting errors in future reports. Other instances may occur because by law, growers are sometimes allowed to use stock they have on hand of a pesticide product that has been withdrawn from the market by the manufacturer or suspended or canceled by regulatory authorities.

Other reporting "errors" may occur when a pesticide is applied directly to a site to control a particular pest, but is not applied directly to the crop in the field. A grower may use an herbicide to treat weeds on the edge of a field, a fumigant on bare soil prior to planting, or a rodenticide to treat rodent burrows. For example, reporting the use of the herbicide glyphosate on tomatoes-when it was actually applied to bare soil prior to planting the tomatoes-could be perceived to be an error. Although technically incorrect, recording the data as if the application were made directly to the commodity provides valuable crop usage information for DPR's regulatory program.

Adjuvants

Data on spray adjuvants (including emulsifiers, wetting agents, foam suppressants, and other efficacy enhancers), not reported prior to full use reporting, are now included. Examples of these types of chemicals include the "alkyls" and some petroleum distillates. (Adjuvants are exempt from federal registration requirements, but must be registered as pesticides in California.)

Zero Pounds Applied

There are a few entries in this report in which the total pounds applied for certain active ingredients are displayed as zero. This is because the chemical (active ingredient) made up a very small percentage of the formulated product that was used. When these products are applied in extremely low quantities and taking into account that the calculations are rounded to two decimal places, the resulting value of the active ingredient is too low to register an amount.

Acres Treated

The summary information in this annual report cannot be used to determine the total number of acres of a crop to which pesticides were applied during the year. Sometimes the product used contains more than one active ingredient. (In any pesticide product, the active ingredient is the component which kills, or otherwise controls, target pests. A pesticide product is made up of one or more active ingredients, as well as one or more inert ingredients.) For example, if a 20-acre field is treated with a product that contains three different pesticide active ingredients, a use report is filed by the farmer correctly recording the application of a single pesticide product to 20 acres. However, in the summary tables, the three different active ingredients will each have recorded 20 acres treated. Adding these values results in a total of 60 acres as being treated instead of the 20 acres actually treated. A similar problem occurs when the same field is treated more than once with the same active ingredient.

Number of Applications

The values for number of applications include only production agricultural applications. Applicators are required to submit one of two basic types of use reports, a production agricultural report or a monthly summary report. The production agricultural report must include information for each application; the monthly summary report, for all other uses, includes only monthly totals for all applications of each pesticide, site or commodity, and applicator. The total number of applications in the monthly summary reports are not consistently given, so they were not included in the totals in this annual report. In the annual PUR reports before 1997, each monthly summary report was counted as one application.

Also, in the annual summary table by commodity, the total number of applications given for each commodity may not equal the sum of all applications of each active ingredient on that commodity. As explained above, some pesticide products contain more than one active ingredient. If the number of applications were added for each active ingredient in such a product then the total number of applications would be more than one, even though only one application of the product was made. The totals given in the annual summary table takes into account such multiple active ingredient products and counts each as only one application.

Outliers

In calculating the total pounds of pesticides used in these tables, DPR excluded values for rates of use which were so large they were probably in error. Errors occur, for example, when those reporting pesticide use shift decimal points during data entry. DPR specialists spent more than a year developing, testing, and implementing software to detect probable errors (outliers). Pesticide rates were considered outliers if (1) they were higher than 200 pounds of active ingredient per acre (or greater than 1,000 pounds per acre for fumigants); (2) they were 50 times larger than the median rate for all uses with the same pesticide product, crop treated, unit treated, and record type (that is, production agricultural or all other use); or (3) they were higher than a value determined by a neural network procedure that approximates what a group of 12 scientists believed were obvious outliers. Although these criteria removed less than one percent of the rate values in the PUR, some rates were so large that if included in the sums, they would have significantly affected total pounds applied of some pesticides. We excluded these probable errors not only from the 1999 summary data, but also from all previous years of the PUR (1991 to 1998) in the trend summaries described below.

III. DATA SUMMARY

This report is a summary of data submitted to DPR. Because outlier values were excluded from previous years' data, the total pounds given here differs from summary pesticide use summary reports published before 1996. Total pounds may also change due to ongoing error correction of previous years' data. The revised numbers more accurately reflect the total pounds applied.

Pesticide Use In California

In 1999, there were 202,611,488 pounds of pesticide active ingredients reported used in California. Annual use has varied from year to year since full use reporting was implemented in 1990 (Table 1). Reported pesticide use was 214 million pounds in 1998, 205 million pounds in 1997, 198 million pounds in 1996, 205 million pounds in 1995, 191 million pounds in 1994, 188 million pounds in 1993, 180 million pounds in 1992, 153 million pounds in 1991, and 167 million pounds in 1990.

Such variances are and will continue to be a normal occurrence. These fluctuations can be attributed to a variety of factors, including changes in planted acreage, crop plantings, pest pressures, and weather conditions. For example, extremely heavy rains result in excessive weeds, thus more pesticides may be used; and drought conditions may result in fewer planted acres, thus less pesticide may be used.

As in previous years, the greatest pesticide use occurred in California's San Joaquin Valley (Table 2). Four counties in this region had the highest use: Fresno, Kern, Tulare, and San Joaquin. Monterey county ranked fifth among all counties in total pesticide use.

Pesticide Sales In California

Reported pesticide applications are only a portion of the pesticides sold each year. Typically, about two-thirds of the pesticide active ingredients sold in a given year are not subject to use reporting. Examples of non-reported active ingredients are chlorine (used primarily for municipal water treatment) and home use pesticide products.

Sales data is not yet available for 1999. There were approximately 625.9 million pounds of pesticide active ingredients sold in California in 1998; 653.9 million pounds in 1997; 699.5 million pounds in 1996; 543.1 million pounds in 1995; and 627.9 million pounds in 1994.

In addition, it should be noted that the pounds of pesticides used and the number of applications are not necessarily accurate indicators of the extent of pesticide use or, conversely, the extent of use of reduced-risk pest management methods. For example, farmers may make a number of small-scale "spot" applications targeted at problem areas rather than one treatment of a large area. They may replace a more toxic pesticide used at one pound per acre with a less hazardous compound that must be applied at several pounds per acre. Either of these scenarios could increase the number of applications and amount of pounds used without indicating an increased reliance on pesticides.

Table 1. Data for pounds of pesticide active ingredients used from 1991-1999 break down into the following general use categories:

  Pounds Reported Used
Category 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Production agriculture 132,727,916 156,664,418 172,492,706 175,408,663 187,577,922 182,375,369 189,796,122 198,568,999 186,386,953
Postharvest fumigation 1,362,778 1,811,128 1,703,738 2,004,123 3,770,169 1,847,859 1,608,996 1,655,875 1,900,391
Structural pest control 8,270,772 5,319,391 4,687,296 5,186,253 4,839,368 4,738,168 5,184,905 5,930,988 5,363,566
Landscape maintenance 1,559,383 1,250,624 1,317,791 1,325,560 1,382,563 1,259,332 1,231,788 1,405,312 1,327,685
All others 9,239,065 15,445,580 7,811,172 7,430,770 7,563,928 7,607,753 6,957,906 6,783,731 7,632,893
Total 153,159,914 180,491,141 188,012,703 191,355,369 205,133,950 197,828,481 204,779,717 214,344,905 202,611,488

Included in "All Others" are pesticide applications reported in the following general categories: pest control on rights-of-way; public health which includes mosquito abatement work; vertebrate pest control; fumigation of nonfood and nonfeed materials, such as lumber, furniture, etc.; pesticides used in research; and regulatory pest control used in ongoing control and/or eradication of pest infestations.

Table 2. The total pounds of pesticide active ingredients reported in each county during 1999 and its rank among all 58 counties.

County Pounds
Applied
Rank   County Pounds
Applied
Rank   County Pounds
Applied
Rank   County Pounds
Applied
Rank
Alameda 191,629 43   Kings 5,259,491 11   Placer 473,478 36   Shasta 260,747 41
Alpine 105 58   Lake 926,141 31   Plumas 16,129 54   Sierra 3,860 57
Amador 138,362 44   Lassen 241,086 42   Riverside 4,594,156 12   Siskiyou 453,350 37
Butte 3,622,043 16   Los Angeles 2,507,406 21   Sacramento 3,701,448 15   Solano 2,549,965 20
Calaveras 40,752 50   Madera 9,649,641 6   San Benito 688,650 32   Sonoma 3,734,767 14
Colusa 1,260,553 29   Marin 55,988 47   San Bernardino 684,295 33   Stanislaus 6,792,709 9
Contra Costa 483,681 35   Mariposa 22,985 52   San Diego 2,047,913 26   Sutter 3,018,889 18
Del Norte 299,159 40   Mendocino 2,093,150 24   San Francisco 24,752 51   Tehama 590,744 34
El Dorado 121,995 45   Merced 8,611,230 8   San Joaquin 12,173,393 4   Trinity 7,115 56
Fresno 36,978,444 1   Modoc 381,358 38   San Luis Obispo 2,302,077 23   Tulare 16,671,512 3
Glenn 2,574,373 19   Mono 7,543 55   San Mateo 327,671 39   Tuolumne 52,187 48
Humboldt 61,212 46   Monterey 10,189,162 5   Santa Barbara 4,259,990 13   Ventura 6,589,411 10
Imperial 8,647,768 7   Napa 2,347,153 22   Santa Clara 1,042,956 30   Yolo 3,437,121 17
Inyo 16,526 53   Nevada 48,809 49   Santa Cruz 1,613,475 27   Yuba 1,413,231 28
Kern 24,218,242 2   Orange 2,089,513 25           State Total 202,611,487.89  

IV. TRENDS IN USE IN CERTAIN PESTICIDE CATEGORIES

Reported pesticide use in California in 1999 totaled 202,611,488 pounds, a decline of 11,733,417 pounds from 1998 and the lowest reported pounds applied statewide since 1996.

Production agriculture, the major category of reported pesticide use, was responsible for the overall decrease in use. Applications for production agriculture dropped by 12.2 million pounds. (Pounds applied for postharvest fumigation and miscellaneous categories increased, partially offsetting the decrease from production agriculture.)

Major crops and commodities that showed an overall decline in pesticide pounds applied included grapes (down 5.7 million pounds), winegrapes (3.7 million pounds), oranges (1.4 million pounds), almonds (1 million pounds), and cotton (940,000 pounds). Major crops with increased pounds applied included strawberries (up 1.5 million pounds), processing tomatoes (1.2 million pounds) and carrots (1 million pounds).

DPR data analyses have shown that pesticide use varies from year to year, depending upon pest problems, weather, acreage and types of crops planted, and other factors. All factors contributing to the 1999 decline cannot be pinpointed due to the preliminary nature of the data provided to compile this report.

One likely factor in decreased pesticide pounds applied could involve 1999 weather conditions, as indicated by a decline in fungicide use. These chemical applications usually can be associated with wet conditions that produce disease problems. For example, sulfur, a natural fungicide favored by both conventional and organic farmers, saw use decline by nearly 10 million pounds from 1998 to 1999. (Sulfur still accounted for about one-third of all pesticide pounds applied.)

It should also be noted that the decrease in pounds applied contrasts sharply with acreage for some crop categories in 1999. Specifically, fruit and vegetable acreage increased. These crops are usually associated with more intensive pesticide use, compared to field crops. According to the Agricultural Statistics Branch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, harvested acreage of vegetables increased by about 73,000 acres in 1999 from the previous year, while harvested acres of fruit increased by about 70,000 acres.

Because the 1999 data are preliminary and errors have not been completely identified and corrected, the values should be viewed with caution. However, based on this preliminary data, some of the major statistical changes from 1998 to 1999 include:

  • Use of insecticide organophosphate and carbamate chemicals, which includes compounds of high regulatory concern, declined by almost 800,000 pounds from 1998 to 1999. Areas treated with these pesticides declined by more than 758,000 cumulative acres.
  • Chemicals categorized as ground water contaminants, another regulatory concern, declined by about 414,000 pounds applied. Area treated declined by 40,200 cumulative acres.
  • Chemicals classified as carcinogens declined in overall acreage treated (down 1.9 million acres) and increased in pounds applied (up 2 million pounds). As measured in pounds, 25 carcinogenic chemicals declined in use. However, they were more than offset by increased use of two fumigants - metam sodium (up 3.6 million pounds) and 1,3-D (350,000 pounds) - which are of regulatory concern. DPR analysts found that more applications of metam sodium coincided with more pre-plant soil treatments for a few crops where planted acreage increased. These included carrots, potatoes, and processing tomatoes.
  • Chemicals classified as reproductive toxins also showed an overall decline in acreage treated (down 606,000 acres) and increased pounds applied (up 5.3 million pounds). Some 21 reproductive toxins declined in pounds, but two fumigants -- metam sodium (up 3.6 million pounds) and methyl bromide (up 1.8 million pounds) - accounted for most of the increased poundage. DPR analysts linked more methyl bromide applications to an increase in strawberry acreage, and to one-time treatment of soil before winegrape plantings and replantings.
  • Reduced-risk pesticides increased both in pounds applied and acres treated, while biopesticides increased in pounds and declined in acres treated from 1998 to 1999.

Although longer-term trends reveal an increase in pesticide pounds applied for production agriculture from 1994 to 1999, the increase is not statistically significant. That is, there is considerable variation in use from year to year due to many different circumstances. An increase or decrease in use from one year to the next or in the span of a few years does not necessarily indicate a general trend in use; it simply may reflect normal variations. Shorter periods of time may suggest trends, such as the increased pesticide use from 1994 to 1998. However, the overall decrease in pesticide pounds applied from 1998 to 1999, and the fact no other increases during any part of this time period were statistically significant, suggests no general increasing trend in pesticide use in California.

Pesticide use is reported as the number of pounds of active ingredient and the total number of acres treated. The data for pounds include both agricultural and non‑agricultural applications; the data for acres treated are primarily agricultural applications. The number of acres treated means the cumulative number of acres treated; the acres treated in each application are summed even when the same field is sprayed more than once in a year. (For example, if one acre is treated three times in a season with an individual active ingredient, it is counted as three acres treated in the tables and graphs in Section IV of this report.) The active ingredient is the component in the pesticide product that kills or otherwise controls the target pest.

To improve data quality when calculating the total pounds of pesticides, DPR excluded values that were so large they were probably in error. (This process was continuing when the preliminary data was prepared for the 1999 report; a final, corrected report will be issued at the end of the year.) Over-reporting errors have a much greater impact on the numerical accuracy of the database than under-reporting errors. For example, if a field is treated with 100 pounds of pesticide active ingredient and the application is erroneously recorded as 100,000 pounds (a decimal point shift of three places to the right), an error of 999,900 pounds is introduced into the database. If the same degree of error is made in shifting the decimal point to the left, the application is recorded as 0.1 pounds, and an error of 99.9 pounds is entered into the database. The procedure to exclude probable errors involved the development of complex error-checking algorithms, a data improvement process that is ongoing.

To provide an overview, pesticide use is summarized for eight different categories from 1991 to 1999 (Tables 3-10 and Figures 1-8). These categories classify pesticides according to certain characteristics, such as reproductive toxins, carcinogens, or reduced-risk characteristics.

However, the statistical summaries detailed in these categories are not intended to serve as indicators of pesticide risks to the public or the environment. Rather, the data supports DPR regulatory functions to enhance public safety and environmental protection. (See "How Pesticide Data is Used" on page iv.) The different pesticide categories, described more fully, are:

  1. pesticides listed on the State's Proposition 65 list of chemicals "known to cause reproductive toxicity";
  2. pesticides listed by U.S. EPA as B2 carcinogens or on the State's Proposition 65 list of chemicals "known to cause cancer";
  3. pesticides that are cholinesterase inhibitors, that is, organophosphate and carbamate chemicals;
  4. pesticides on DPR's groundwater protection list [California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 6, Chapter 4, Subchapter 1, Article 1, Section 6800(a)] and norflurazon, which DPR is recommending be listed as a restricted material;
  5. pesticides from DPR's toxic air contaminants list (California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 6, Chapter 4, Subchapter 1, Article 1, Section 6860);
  6. oil pesticides, which may include some chemicals on the State's Proposition 65 list of chemicals "known to cause cancer" but which also serve as alternatives to high-toxicity pesticides;
  7. active ingredients contained in pesticide products that have been given reduced-risk status by U.S. EPA;
  8. biopesticides, which include microorganisms and naturally occurring compounds, or compounds essentially identical to naturally occurring compounds that are not toxic to the target pest (such as pheromones).

Use Trends of Pesticides on the State's Proposition 65 List of Chemicals that are "known to cause reproductive toxicity".

Table 3A. The reported pounds of pesticides used which are on the State's Proposition 65 list of chemicals that are "known to cause reproductive toxicity". Use includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Table 3B. The reported cumulative acres treated with pesticides which are on the State's Proposition 65 list of chemicals "known to cause reproductive toxicity". Use includes primarily agricultural applications. The grand total for acres treated may be less than the sum of acres treated for all active ingredients because some products contain more than one active ingredient. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data is preliminary.

Figure 1. Use trends of pesticides which are on the State's Proposition 65 list of chemicals that are "known to cause reproductive toxicity". Reported pounds of active ingredient (AI) applied includes both agricultural and non-agricultural applications. The reported cumulative acres treated includes primarily agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Use Trends of Pesticides listed by U.S. EPA as Carcinogens or by DPR as "known to cause cancer".

Table 4A. The reported pounds of pesticides used that are listed by U.S. EPA as B2 carcinogens or that are on the State's Proposition 65 list of chemicals "known to cause cancer". Use includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Table 4B. The reported cumulative acres treated with pesticides listed by U.S. EPA as B2 carcinogens or on the State's Proposition 65 list of chemicals "known to cause cancer". Use includes primarily agricultural applications. The grand total for acres treated is less than the sum of acres treated for all active ingredients because some products contain more than one active ingredient. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Figure 2. Use trends of pesticides that are listed by U.S. EPA as B2 carcinogens or that are on the State's Proposition 65 list of chemicals "known to cause cancer". Reported pounds of active ingredient (AI) applied includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. The reported cumulative acres treated includes primarily agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Use Trends of Cholinesterase Inhibiting Pesticides

Table 5A. The reported pounds of cholinesterase inhibiting pesticides used. These pesticides are the currently registered organophosphate and carbamate active ingredients. Use includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Table 5B. The reported cumulative acres treated with cholinesterase inhibiting pesticides. These pesticides are the currently registered organophosphate and carbamate active ingredients. Use includes primarily agricultural applications. The grand total for acres treated is less than the sum of acres treated for all active ingredients because some products contain more than one active ingredient. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed.

Figure 3. Use trends of cholinesterase inhibiting pesticides, which includes pesticides with organophosphate and carbamate active ingredients. Reported pounds of active ingredient (AI) applied includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. The reported cumulative acres treated includes primarily agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Use Trends of Pesticides on DPR's Groundwater Protection List and Norflurazon

Table 6A. The reported pounds of pesticides on DPR's groundwater protection list. These pesticides are the currently registered active ingredients listed in the California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 6, Chapter 4, Subchapter 1, Article 1, Section 6800(a) and norflurazon. Use includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Table 6B. The reported acres treated in California with pesticides on DPR's groundwater protection list. These pesticides are the currently registered active ingredients listed in the California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 6, Chapter 4, Subchapter 1, Article 1, Section 6800(a) and norflurazon. Use includes primarily agricultural applications. The grand total for acres treated is less than the sum of acres treated for all active ingredients because some products contain more than one active ingredient. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Figure 4. Use trends of pesticides on DPR's groundwater protection list. These pesticides are the currently registered active ingredients listed in the California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 6, Chapter 4, Subchapter 1, Article 1, Section 6800(a) and norflurazon. Reported pounds of active ingredient (AI) applied includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. The reported cumulative acres treated includes primarily agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Use Trends of Pesticides on DPR's Toxic Air Contaminants List

Table 7A. The reported pounds of pesticides on DPR's toxic air contaminants list applied in California. These pesticides are the currently registered active ingredients listed in the California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 6, Chapter 4, Subchapter 1, Article 1, Section 6860. Use includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Table 7B. The reported cumulative acres treated in California with pesticides on DPR's toxic air contaminants list. These pesticides are the currently registered active ingredients listed in the California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 6, Chapter 4, Subchapter 1, Article 1, Section 6860. Use includes primarily agricultural applications. The grand total for acres treated is less than the sum of acres treated for all active ingredients because some products contain more than one active ingredient. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Figure 5. Use trends of pesticides on DPR's toxic air contaminants list. These pesticides are the currently registered active ingredients listed in the California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 6, Chapter 4, Subchapter 1, Article 1, Section 6860. Reported pounds of active ingredient (AI) applied includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. The reported cumulative acres treated includes primarily agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Use Trends of Oil Pesticides

Table 8A. The reported pounds of oil pesticides. As a broad group, oil pesticides and other petroleum distillates are on U.S. EPA's list of B2 carcinogens or the State's Proposition 65 list of chemicals "known to cause cancer." However, these classifications do not distinguish among oil pesticides that may not qualify as carcinogenic due to their degree of refinement. Many such oil pesticides also serve as alternatives to high-toxicity chemicals. For this reason, oil pesticide data was classified separately in this report. Use includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Table 8B. The reported cumulative acres treated in California from 1991 to 1998 with oil pesticides. (See qualifying comments on U.S. EPA B2 carcinogen and Proposition 65 listing with Table 8A.) Uses include primarily agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Figure 6. Use trends of oil pesticides. As a broad group, oil pesticides and other petroleum distillates are on U.S. EPA's list of B2 carcinogens or the State's Proposition 65 list of chemicals "known to cause cancer." However, these classifications do not distinguish among oil pesticides that may not qualify as carcinogenic due to their degree of refinement. Many such oil pesticides also serve as alternatives to high-toxicity chemicals. For this reason, oil pesticide data was classified separately in this report. Reported pounds of active ingredient (AI) applied includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. The reported cumulative acres treated includes primarily agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Use Trends of Reduced-Risk Pesticides

Table 9A. The reported pounds of reduced-risk pesticides applied in California. These active ingredients are contained in pesticide products that have been given reduced-risk status by U.S. EPA. Use includes both agricultural and non-agricultural applications. Zero values in early years likely indicate the pesticide was not yet registered for use. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Table 9B. The reported cumulative acres treated in California with each reduced-risk pesticide. These active ingredients are contained in pesticide products that have been given reduced-risk status by U.S. EPA. Use includes primarily agricultural applications. Zero values in early years likely indicate the pesticide was not yet registered for use. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Figure 7. Use trends of reduced-risk pesticides. These active ingredients are contained in pesticide products that have been given reduced-risk status by U.S. EPA. Reported pounds of active ingredient (AI) applied includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. The reported cumulative acres treated includes primarily agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Use Trends of Biopesticides.

Table 10A. The reported pounds of biopesticides applied in California. Biopesticides include microorganisms and naturally occurring compounds, or compounds essentially identical to naturally occurring compounds that are not toxic to the target pest (such as pheromones). Use includes both agricultural and non-agricultural applications. Zero values in early years likely indicate the pesticide was not yet registered for use. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Table 10B. The reported cumulative acres treated in California with each biopesticide. Biopesticides includes microorganisms and naturally occurring compounds, or compounds essentially identical to naturally occurring compounds that are not toxic to the target pest (such as pheromones). Use includes primarily agricultural applications. The grand total for acres treated is less than the sum of acres for all active ingredients because some products contain more than one active ingredient. Zero values in early years likely indicate the pesticide was not yet registered for use. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.

Figure 8. Use trends of biopesticides. Biopesticides include microorganisms and naturally occurring compounds, or compounds essentially identical to naturally occurring compounds that are not toxic to the target pest (such as pheromones). Reported pounds of active ingredient (AI) applied includes both agricultural and reportable non-agricultural applications. The reported cumulative acres treated includes primarily agricultural applications. Data are from the Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Use Reports with probable errors removed. The 1999 data are preliminary.