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Figure 2.4: U.S. pesticide usage in 1997 (Aspelin and Grube, 1999)

Farmers use a wide variety of chemicals to control unwanted weeds and pests on their property. Herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, and fungicides all fall under the broad heading of pesticides. According to the EPA, the United States spends a total of $11.9 billion per year on pesticides. Seventy percent of this total is used in agriculture--equivalent to about $4,400 per farm for 1.9 million farms (Aspelin and Grube, 1999). The United States accounts for almost one-third of pesticide use in the world, with 18 pesticide manufactures, 2,200 formulators, 17,000 distributors, and 375,000 commercial applicators supplying pesticides nationally. The annual U.S. pesticide application rate is approximately 800 million pounds (Aspelin and Grube, 1999).


Andy Wingo 2001-12-10