The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) published the 2014 Agricultural Chemical Use survey data for corn and fall potatoes. The information released includes on-farm fertilizer use, pesticide use, and pest management practices for these crops for the 2014 crop year, beginning after the 2013 harvest and ending after the 2014 harvest.

Key findings for corn include:

  • Among pesticides, herbicides were the most widely used with application to 97 percent of corn planted acres followed by applications of insecticides on 13 percent of planted acres.
  • Applied to 55 percent of corn planted acres, atrazine was the most widely used herbicide followed by glyphosate isopropylamine salt, applied to 38 percent.
  • Nitrogen was the most widely applied fertilizer at 97 percent of corn planted acres with an average of 144 pounds per acre applied during the year, followed by phosphate on 80 percent of planted acres.

Key findings for fall potatoes include:

  • As fertilizers, potato growers applied nitrogen to 99 percent and phosphate to 97 percent of planted fall potato acres, followed by potash at 90 percent.
  • Farmers applied fungicides to 96 percent of potato planted acres, more than herbicides (91 percent) and insecticides (89 percent)
  • Mitribuzin, the most widely applied active ingredient, is an herbicide that was applied to 75 percent of planted fall potato acres. The next most widely applied ingredients (chlorothalonil and mancozeb) are both fungicides.

NASS collected data in fall 2014 from corn producers in 15 states representing 89 percent of the 90.6 million acres planted to corn in 2014 and potato producers in 8 states representing 88 percent of the 936,900 acres planted to fall potatoes. Both surveys also asked about prevention, avoidance, and suppression practices for managing pests.