3. What Is Reported

Back to Overview of Pesticide Use Reporting

Under the full use reporting regulations, growers are required to report monthly the pesticides they use to the agricultural commissioner of the county in which the pest control work was done. Commercial pest control operators are required to report the use of pesticides to the county agricultural commissioner within seven days of completion of the application. The following information must be reported for each pesticide application in production agriculture:

  • month and year of the application(s);
  • county in which work was done;
  • geographic location including the section, township, range, base, and meridian;
  • field location;
  • operator ID/permit number;
  • operator name and address;
  • applicator name and address;
  • site ID;
  • commodity/crop/site treated;
  • acres or units planted;
  • acres or units treated;
  • date and time of application;
  • application method (air, ground, other);
  • U.S. EPA/California pesticide registration number1 of the pesticide product applied;
  • pesticide product name and manufacturer;
  • amount of product applied; and
  • person who prepared the report.

Operator Identification Before buying or using pesticides in production agriculture, every property operator is required to obtain a unique operator ID from each county in which pesticides will be used. This 11-digit number represents:

XX – reporting county (where work is performed);

XX – calendar year;

XX – home county2 (county where grower obtains the first operator identification number);

XXXXX – unique operator ID number assigned by the home county.

When operating in multiple counties, the grower or operator of the property must obtain a grower ID from each county. In this case, the last seven digits (home county and operator ID) obtained from the county in which the operator first registered is carried over and used by all additional counties. Only the first two digits (reporting county) would change.

Site Identification

A site ID must be obtained from the county agricultural commissioner for each location or field where pesticides will be used. This site ID is recorded on the restricted material permit or other approved form. Location-specific information (section, township, range) and commodity/crop specific information are recorded in the county database for each site. Maps for each site/field are filed with the permit and/or operator ID in the county agricultural commissioner offices to help definitively locate sites. Although there were no uniform statewide guidelines for issuing site IDs, generally two methods that meet local needs evolved during the first few years:

  1. In some counties, commissioners assign a site ID to a physical plot of ground and each crop grown that year on that plot (for example, wheat, corn, and tomatoes in rotation) is assigned the same site ID, e.g., 01010001. Operators can carry site IDs over from year to year if there are no changes in the field boundaries or type of plantings. The rationale is that the data is more valuable to the county if it can be related to specific pieces of land for historical and investigative purposes.
  2. In other counties, the commissioner assigns a new site ID for each crop rotation. For example, each successive planting will have sequential IDs, e.g., 01010001, 01010002, 01010003. The first six digits represent the specific plot of ground; the last two digits represent the crop rotation or planting, e.g., "broccoli-lettuce-bok choy." The site IDs are often reissued each year.

DPR adapted the site ID systems from the restricted materials permit system to reduce the impact of the new requirements on county and State data systems. It was not until use reporting data were used more extensively for trend analyses in the mid 1990s that DPR fully appreciated the need for county uniformity in the definition of site IDs. (See Section 8 for discussion of how DPR is revising the site ID system to use geographic information system [GIS] identifiers.)


1   All pesticides must be registered by U.S. EPA before they can be registered in California. In addition, California also requires the registration of spray adjuvants (substances added to enhance the efficacy of a pesticide) including emulsifiers, spreaders, and stickers. Adjuvants are subject to the same state regulations as federally registrered pesticides, including use reporting requirements. If a pesticide is federally registered, DPR uses its federal registration number as its Caiofnria counterpart. DPR assigns a California-only registration number to adjuvants.

2   California has 58 counties that are arbitrarily assigned ordinal numbers in alphabetical order, i.e., Alameda County is "01" and Yuba is "58".