Analyses of Pesticide Use Trends

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DPR has analyzed PUR data to provide both an overview of pesticide use in California and, along with information from other sources, provide some explanations for the trends of pesticide use.

The tables of pesticide use by crop and active ingredients for each year provide hundreds of pages of numbers. In such a mass of data it is difficult to get an overview of the most used pesticides or most heavily treated crops and how the uses of these pesticides have changed over the years. Also, even though these summary tables provide significant information, there is additional information available in the database that cannot be easily captured in summary tables. Additional data includes the pesticide product used, the date it was applied, the particular field treated, and application location to a square-mile section.

These data were studied in detail and analyzed in a number of different ways to help us understand some of the reasons for the patterns and trends in pesticide use. These kinds of analyses can help granting agencies understand where efforts to promote reduced-risk pest management strategies are succeeding or failing, help researchers better identify emerging challenges and direct research attention to finding solutions, help regulators arrive at realistic policy decisions that are both environmentally and economically sound, and help the public understand why certain practices are used.