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Pest Management

Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data on pest management practices first became available in 1996 and indicate that fields were scouted for weed control on the majority of acres planted to corn, cotton, soybeans, and winter wheat, and that weed scouting intensity increased during 1996-2007. With the widespread adoption of herbicide-tolerant (HT) corn, cotton, and soybeans during 1996-2007, the use of post-emergence herbicides increased, particularly for soybeans, while the use of pre-emergence herbicides first declined and then leveled off, for corn and cotton, and increased for soybeans. The percentage of winter-wheat acres receiving pre-emergence herbicides increased slowly and steadily during this period, while the percentage of acres receiving post-emergence herbicides declined and then increased somewhat.

The share of planted acres on which pesticides are rotated to slow resistance trended downward during 1996-2007, particularly for soybeans. This trend--along with the widespread adoption of HT crops and the popularity of glyphosate--might explain why glyphosate resistance is an emerging problem facing producers of corn, cotton, and soybeans.

Changes in insect management practices are less apparent. Fields were scouted for insect control on the majority of planted acres, and the only discernible change over 1996-2007 occurred in soybeans, where the share of planted acres scouted increased slightly, perhaps because of the recent introduction of the soybean aphid.

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Last updated: Thursday, June 07, 2012

For more information contact: Seth James Wechsler

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