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Published February 20, 2010, 09:53 AM

Pesticide use in ND set record in 2008

MINOT, N.D. — A recently released study shows that the number of acres in North Dakota treated with pesticides reached a record level in 2008.

By: Associated Press, INFORUM

MINOT, N.D. — A recently released study shows that the number of acres in North Dakota treated with pesticides reached a record level in 2008.

The study conducted by North Dakota State University and the federal Agriculture Department found that pesticide-treated acres two years ago reached 32.6 million, up 45 percent from the previous study four years earlier.

In 2008, more than 40 percent of wheat received a fungicide application, up from 6 percent in 2000. NDSU plant pathologist Marcia McMullen says there was leaf rot and tan spot in 2007, so a lot of farmers probably did preventative spraying in 2008.

Insecticide applications in 2008 quadrupled from 2004, to 4 million acres. NDSU entomologist Janet Knodel says wheat stem sawfly was bad in 2008, and soybean aphids and spider mites also threatened crops.

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