Fertilizer and Pesticides

OWID presents work from many different people and organizations. When citing this entry, please also cite the original data source. This entry can be cited as:

Max Roser and Hannah Ritchie (2017) – ‘Fertilizer and Pesticides’. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: https://ourworldindata.org/fertilizer-and-pesticides/ [Online Resource]

# Empirical View

# Fertilizer application rates

# Fertilizer application over the long run

# Total fertilizer application rates

# Nitrogen fertilizer application rate

# World map of average annual nitrogen balance (pounds per acre) – National Geographic1
World Map of Average Annual Nitrogen Balance (pounds per acre) – National Geographic0

# Phosphate fertilizer application rate

# Potash fertilizer application rate



# Fertilizer production

# Total fertilizer production

# Nitrogen fertilizer production

# Phosphate fertilizer production

# Potash (potassium) fertilizer production



# Fertilizer consumption

# Nitrogen fertilizer consumption

# Phosphate fertilizer consumption

# Potash (potassium) fertilizer consumption



# Fertilizer and nutrient prices

# Phosphate and potash prices over the long-term

# Global fertilizer price index

# Global urea prices



# Pesticide application rates

# Pesticide application across the world

# Pesticide production

The following graph shows the increase over the very long run.

# Total global pesticide production and global pesticide imports, 1940s-2000 – Tillman et al. (2002)2 Total global pesticide production and global pesticide imports (1940s-2000) – Tillman et al. (2002)0

# Pesticide production by type

# Estimated worldwide annual sales of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and others) in billions of dollars, 1960-1999 – Agrios (2005)3 Estimated worldwide annual sales of pesticides 1960 to 1999 in billions of dollars (Herbicides, Insecticides, Fungicides, and others) – Agrios (2005)0

# Annual usage of the various types of pesticides (in millions of pounds of active ingredient) and annual cost of pesticides (in millions of dollars) in the United States, 1980-1999 – Agrios (2005)4

Agrios Plant Pathology figure 1-43

# Pesticide consumption

# Total world pesticide consumption by world region, 1994-1997 – Heisey and Norton (2007)5
 HerbicidesInsecticidesFungicides
ChinaNANANA
India6.837.29.4
Other Asia24.44119.2
Middle East/North Africa9.719.514.1
Sub-Saharan Africa11.79.79
Latin America/Caribbean85.839.831.8
All developing138.4147.283.6
Transitional35.67.923.2
Industrialized337.8163.4190.4
World511.8318.4297.2

# Pesticide consumption by country

# Results of residue monitoring on domestic and imported foods by the Food and Drug Administration, 1988-1994 – Agrios (2005)6

Results of residue monitoring on domestic and imported foods by the Food and Drug Administration (1988-1994) – Agrios (2005)0

# Pesticide residue levels in human adipose tissue and human milk in USA, 1970-1983, United Kingdom, 1963-1983, and Japan, 1976-1985 – Simon (1996) – The State of Humanity7 Pesticide residue levels in human adipose tissue and human milk, USA 1970-83, United Kingdom 1963-83, Japan 1976-85 – Simon (1996) - The State of Humanity0

# Correlates, Determinants & Consequences

# Fertilizer consumption and income

# Yields tend to increase with fertilizer application



# Fertilizer and land use

# World fertilizer use and grainland area per person, (1950-94) – Brown (1995)8

World Fertilizer Use and Grainland Area Per Person, (1950-94) – Brown (1995)0

# Grain production in Australia, China, South America, and United States relative to nitrogen fertilizer use, 1961-2002 – Hatfield and Prueger (2004)9Grain production in Australia, China, South America, and United States relative to N fertilizer use (1961-2002)0

# Pesticides

# Loss of food production due to diseases, insects and weeds – Agrios (2005)10
Attainable crop production (2002 prices)$1.5 trillion
Actual crop production (-36.5%)$950 billion
Production without crop protection$455 billion
Losses prevented by crop protection$415 billion
Actual annual losses to world crop production$550 billion
Losses caused by diseases only (14.1%)$220 billion

# Late blight of potato and the Irish famine: itinerary of the potato blight – Agrios (2005)11
The map below shows the itinerary of the advance of the potato blight between June, when the blight was first detected in Belgium, and the end of October 1845, by which time it spread from Italy to Ireland and from Spain to the Scandinavian countries.The late blight of potato and the Irish famine – Agrios (2005)1

# Map of the history of spread of ergot of sorghum, caused primarily by the fungus Claviceps africana, around the world – Agrios (2005)12 Map of the history of spread of ergot of sorghum, caused primarily by the fungus Claviceps africana, around the world – Agrios (2005)0

# Data Quality & Definition

The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation gives the following definition of Pesticides13: ‘Pesticides refer to insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, disinfectants and any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying or controlling any pest, including vectors of human or animal disease, unwanted species of plants or animals causing harm during or otherwise interfering with the production, processing, storage, transport or marketing of food, agricultural commodities, wood and wood products or animal feedstuffs, or substances which may be administered to animals for the control of insects, arachnids or other pests in or on their bodies. The term includes substances intended for use as a plant growth regulator, defoliant, desiccant or agent for thinning fruit or preventing the premature fall of fruit, and substances applied to crops either before or after harvest to protect the commodity from deterioration during storage and transport.

Data Sources

# Fertilizer

The FAO Fertilizer Database is online here. It includes several datasets on fertilizers for countries and world regions since 2002.
The same organisation’s Fertilizer Archive goes back to 1961 and is online here. For the same time span the FAO publishes data in the Fertilizers Trade Values Database here.

# Pesticides

The FAO Pesticides Use Database is online here. It includes several datasets on pesticides for countries and world regions since 1990. The FAO’s Pesticides Trade Database goes back to 1961 and is online here.