Pesticide Densities Down or Stable in Corn State Waterways

WASHINGTON, DC – A recently-published study by the U.S. Geological Services found steady or declining levels of pesticide in Corn Belt waterways from 1996 to 2006, despite record increases in per-acre yields. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said the study shows that U.S. farmers can produce more corn using environmentally-sustainable practices.

“With increasing frequency, farmers are using advanced practices to reduce runoff and protect water supplies. This report shows that each year we can advance those practices – both to manage the environment and increase yields of corn for animal feed and ethanol,” Buis said. “We could have a record harvest with record yields, planted on seven million fewer acres than two years ago – using environmentally-sustainable practices. Ethanol is already a low-carbon, renewable fuel that cuts greenhouse gas emissions. Now we’re seeing farmers growing more corn than ever for ethanol, and water quality is improving.”

The USGS study tracked 11 herbicides and insecticides frequently used for agricultural weed control in the Corn Belt, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio, but including parts of adjoining states. The study tracked those pesticides in 31 stream sites over two overlapping time periods: 1996 to 2002 and from 2000 to 2006.

The USGS scientists who ran the study linked the declining presence of pesticides to better agricultural management practices and scientific advancements.

Information on the USGS study can be found at:


About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at