USDA examines historic pesticide trends
Pesticide use in the US more than tripled between 1960 and 1981 and then fluctuated on a downward trend until 2008, according to analysis by the USDA's Economic Research Service. The data on 21 crops were compiled from pesticide use surveys carried out by the ERS and the National Agricultural Statistics Service and from proprietary data provided by a market research company to the EPA. The 21 crops had accounted for more than 70% of conventional pesticide use in the US. The analysis ends at 2008 as that is the most recent year for which the USDA has enough complete data.