Documentation and Data Sources

Tables in this product provide annual fertilizer use and price data at the national and State levels. The Association of American Plant Food Control OfficialsThe Fertilizer Institute, and USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) QuickStats are the primary data sources for national statistics. Note that the NASS survey used to support table 7 (Average U.S. farm prices of selected fertilizers) has been discontinued; the final release of Prices Paid for Fertilizer was April 2014. 

State/crop/nutrient-specific statistics on fertilizer use come from NASS's Agricultural Use Program. In recent years, the surveyed States sampled represented 89-93 percent of planted acres for corn; 94-96 percent of planted acres of soybeans; 84 percent of upland cotton, and 86 percent of winter wheat. ERS data tables summarize the share of treated acres and application rate per fertilized acre for nitrogen, phosphate, and potash; applied to planted acres for corn, soybeans, cotton, and wheat, by surveyed State. 

Historical data (1960-93) are from Taylor, Harold H., 1994. Fertilizer Use and Price Statistics, 1960-93, Statistical Bulletin No. 893, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

The ERS schedule for updating these data is once a year, although crop-specific tables update on different schedules. 

Tables (as tabs in one Excel workbook) include:

  • Table 1. U.S. consumption of plant nutrients
  • Table 2. Estimated U.S. plant nutrient use by selected crops
  • Table 3. U.S. consumption of single, multiple, and secondary and micro nutrients
  • Table 4. U.S. consumption of selected nitrogen materials
  • Table 5. U.S. consumption of selected phosphate and potash fertilizers
  • Table 6. U.S. consumption of selected secondary, micronutrients, and natural organic materials
  • Table 7. Average U.S. farm prices of selected fertilizers
  • Table 8. Fertilizer price indexes
  • Table 9. Percent of corn acreage receiving nitrogen fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 10. Nitrogen used on corn, rate per fertilized acre receiving nitrogen, selected States
  • Table 11. Percentage of corn acreage receiving phosphate fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 12. Phosphate used on corn, rate per fertilized acre receiving phosphate fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 13. Percentage of corn acreage receiving potash fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 14. Potash used on corn, rate per fertilized acre receiving potash, selected States
  • Table 15. Percentage of cotton acreage receiving nitrogen fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 16. Nitrogen used on cotton, rate per fertilized acre receiving nitrogen, selected States
  • Table 17. Percentage of cotton acreage receiving phosphate fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 18. Phosphate used on cotton, rate per fertilized acre receiving phosphate, selected States
  • Table 19. Percentage of cotton acreage receiving potash fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 20. Potash used on cotton, rate per fertilized acre receiving potash, selected States
  • Table 21. Percentage of soybean acreage receiving nitrogen fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 22. Nitrogen used on soybeans, rate per fertilized acre receiving nitrogen, selected States
  • Table 23. Percentage of soybean acreage receiving phosphate fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 24. Phosphate used on soybeans, rate per fertilized acre receiving phosphate, selected States
  • Table 25. Percentage of soybean acreage receiving potash fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 26. Potash used on soybeans, rate per fertilized acre receiving potash, selected States
  • Table 27. Percentage of wheat acreage receiving nitrogen fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 28. Nitrogen used on wheat, rate per fertilized acre receiving nitrogen, selected States
  • Table 29. Percentage of wheat acreage receiving phosphate fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 30. Phosphate used on wheat, rate per fertilized acre receiving phosphate, selected States
  • Table 31. Percentage of wheat acreage receiving potash fertilizer, selected States
  • Table 32. Potash used on wheat, rate per fertilized acre receiving potash, selected States

Update and Revision History

February 21, 2018

Aggregate data on fertilizer consumption and use were updated to the latest available year. Table 1 (U.S. consumption of plant nutrients) was updated through 2014; table 2 (Estimated U.S. plant nutrient use by selected crops) was updated through 2016. Tables 3-6 (U.S. consumption of single, multiple, and secondary/micro nutrients; U.S. consumption of selected nitrogen materials; U.S. consumption of selected nitrogen/phosphate/potash materials; and U.S. consumption of selected secondary, micronutrients, and natural organic materials) were updated through 2014. 

Data on fertilizer prices (table 7) were updated through 2014 (the supporting USDA survey, on annual prices paid, has been discontinued). Fertilizer price indexes (table 8) were updated through 2016.

Crop-specific fertilizer application estimates are derived from USDA surveys covering selected crops in selected years: data for corn (tables 9-14) were updated through 2016; data for cotton (tables 15-20), soybeans (tables 21-26), and wheat (tables 27-32) were updated through 2015.