Daily News Archive
December 4, 2006
Pesticide Report Shows Less-Toxic Pesticide Use
(Beyond Pesticides, December 4, 2006) The
Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released its report
on 2005 pesticide usage last month, announcing a decrease in some highly
toxic chemicals but an overall rise in pesticide volume.
2005 saw 194 million
pounds of total pesticides applied for all commercial uses, while 180
million pounds were used in 2004. The increase in usage was largely
attributed to a wet spring in 2005; half of the increase was due to
sulfur, which is used by both organic and conventional growers to fight
mold and mildew. Other reduced-risk compounds increased in both volume
and acreage, while more toxic chemicals declined. In spite of the weather’s
boost to crop diseases, the greater proportion of less-toxic products
used points to more thorough Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plans
across the state.
to put strong emphasis on reducing pesticide risks and use whenever
possible,” said DPR Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam in a press release.
“While last year’s weather presented challenging conditions
for growers, we see a growing reliance on sustainable pest management
. . . Increased use of less toxic materials shows we are moving in the
California has compiled
100 list of pesticides used in 2005 as part of the state’s
analysis . Particularly notable, due to the recent meeting of the Montreal
Protocol’s signatories, methyl bromide was sixth on the list in
spite of a global ban in industrialized countries (see Daily News).
Other details from the report include:
• As measured
in pounds, the most used pesticides were sulfur, petroleum oils, metam-sodium,
1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), and mineral oil. Sulfur use increased
by 7.3 million pounds (13 percent) and was the most highly used pesticide
in 2005, both in pounds applied and acres treated. By pounds, sulfur
accounted for 32 percent of all reported pesticide use.
chemicals decreased in pounds applied from 2004 to 2005 by 1 million
pounds (2.5 percent) and decreased in cumulative acres treated by
54,000 acres (14 percent). Approximately half of the major fumigants
decreased in pounds used but nearly all major fumigants decreased
in acres treated.
• The application
of reduced-risk pesticides increased by 630,000 pounds (60 percent)
and by 2.4 million acres (39 percent).
that showed an overall increase in pesticide pounds applied from 2004
to 2005 included wine grapes (6 million pounds), oranges (2.7 million
pounds), raisin and table grapes (1.8 million pounds), walnuts (1.2
million pounds), and almonds (1 million pounds). Major crops or sites
with decreased pounds applied included rice (1.5 million pounds),
fresh tomatoes (700,000 pounds), strawberries (420,000 pounds), and
lemons (370,000 pounds).
Some changes from
2004 to 2005 include:
pounds of all higher risk pesticide categories, except for toxic air
contaminants, decreased and use of all the lower risk pesticides increased.
treated with carcinogens and organophosphates increased, mostly because
of increased use of the fungicides mancozeb and maneb, and the insecticide
classified as reproductive toxins decreased in pounds applied from
2004 to 2005 by 2.1 million pounds (8.8 percent) and decreased in
cumulative acres treated by 88,000 acres (4.1 percent).
of organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, which include compounds
of high regulatory concern, continued to decline as they have for
nearly every year since 1995.
categorized as toxic air contaminants, another group of pesticides
of regulatory concern, remained nearly the same as in 2005 while cumulative
acres treated increased by 220,000 (6.1 percent).
To see the 2005
County Statistics and Rankings, click here.
Media contact: Glenn Brank, (916) 445-3974 or [email protected]
For past Beyond Pesticides news on California DPR’s annual reports,
click here and here.
ACTION: Contact your state pesticide pesticide-regulatory
agency and ask them to produce a report like California’s for
your state. To identify your state’s lead agency, go here
and click on your state. Contact the elected officials of your state
and ask that this information be collected and readily available to