Commercial Fertilizer Purchased

Photos of fertilizer

About this indicator
Fertilizer is a primary source of nitrogen and phosphorus and often reaches surface and groundwater systems through farm or urban/suburban runoff or infiltration. Implementing best management practices and employing precision agriculture methods to ensure appropriate fertilizer application can significantly reduce fertilizer nitrogen and phosphorus use and runoff. This indicator shows the amounts of fertilizer nitrogen and phosporus purchased by states in years 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011, as well as the % change in average amounts purchased per year during years 2007–2011 vs. years 2002–2006. Excluded from analysis were liming materials, peat, potting soils, soil amendments, soil additives, soil conditioners, and livestock manure.

Amounts of fertilizer nitrogen (N) purchased by states in individual years 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011, and the % change in average amounts purchased per year from 2002–2006 to 2007–2011. Fertilizer information is reported by state fertilizer control offices and excludes livestock manure, liming materials, peat, potting soils, soil amendments, soil additives, and soil conditioners.

State Fertilizer purchased in 2003
(1000 kg of N)
Fertilizer purchased in 2005
(1000 kg of N)
Fertilizer purchased in 2007
(1000 kg of N)
Fertilizer purchased in 2009
(1000 kg of N)
Fertilizer purchased in 2011
(1000 kg of N)
% change from 2002–2006 to 2007–2011*
Alabama 90,956 114,387 106,729 60,319 68,225 -19%
Alaska 2,741 2,741 2,741 2,501 2,817 -2%
Arizona 96,855 89,720 71,420 89,747 60,041 -23%
Arkansas 265,684 227,586 297,798 213,021 223,361 -3%
California 792,148 694,217 670,619 609,774 672,302 -8%
Colorado 110,324 115,719 130,718 121,902 152,647 16%
Connecticut 10,791 8,284 10,634 8,889 8,480 -15%
Delaware 15,364 15,759 17,730 18,451 20,181 24%
Florida 204,011 210,484 195,075 137,725 146,542 -22%
Georgia 154,006 147,884 167,766 113,422 109,857 -22%
Hawaii 12,550 12,550 12,550 11,578 12,881 -1%
Idaho 192,428 211,142 203,021 172,028 210,900 -9%
Illinois 717,834 836,437 950,530 948,223 964,434 11%
Indiana 463,811 531,979 510,904 487,380 516,263 7%
Iowa 860,894 940,910 1,091,559 936,589 1,214,110 16%
Kansas 617,369 661,394 824,216 628,161 601,499 8%
Kentucky 179,037 174,617 200,739 164,229 179,875 -2%
Louisiana 184,113 191,609 191,288 178,056 203,915 11%
Maine 21,178 30,439 37,443 30,891 31,078 20%
Maryland 41,426 67,238 11,392 38,003 39,836 -33%
Massachusetts 13,072 16,486 17,476 13,621 13,599 -4%
Michigan 214,616 227,079 243,641 175,800 200,393 -8%
Minnesota 575,280 573,841 630,108 569,554 666,979 6%
Mississippi 186,206 115,483 153,519 98,040 107,933 -20%
Missouri 402,742 420,645 476,829 353,128 431,119 -1%
Montana 117,047 106,200 158,226 138,305 228,141 38%
Nebraska 700,200 735,424 733,803 790,434 850,422 10%
Nevada 9,648 8,663 10,602 9,410 9,246 -1%
New Hampshire 3,205 3,926 4,510 4,081 4,243 2%
New Jersey 24,172 23,603 25,313 26,020 20,904 -1%
New Mexico 35,557 36,944 44,142 35,655 26,240 -5%
New York 69,705 75,038 72,843 57,185 70,747 -11%
North Carolina 139,140 151,515 189,244 130,629 155,102 1%
North Dakota 474,384 529,708 577,922 386,125 649,113 12%
Ohio 393,350 375,008 329,679 357,747 306,996 -6%
Oklahoma 315,213 238,106 228,405 248,299 259,305 -3%
Oregon 192,496 171,326 175,643 126,462 176,867 -7%
Pennsylvania 62,488 77,861 95,757 103,827 86,632 13%
Rhode Island 1,413 2,070 2,485 2,400 2,047 11%
South Carolina 63,720 62,694 65,808 21,047 50,785 -27%
South Dakota 395,359 405,967 418,597 370,465 472,276 1%
Tennessee 129,075 146,957 115,979 127,607 85,883 -21%
Texas 797,626 745,259 736,993 643,462 560,879 -14%
Utah 13,164 15,390 15,936 15,367 20,432 20%
Vermont 4,279 7,904 6,745 8,207 8,176 17%
Virginia 86,004 76,265 84,151 71,359 85,962 -5%
Washington 204,657 212,058 220,620 181,474 200,406 0%
West Virginia 5,228 34,342 21,481 1,949 5,778 -53%
Wisconsin 226,508 223,049 274,394 252,201 283,808 10%
Wyoming 84,001 90,542 91,773 79,016 165,678 24%

* Data are the % change in average amounts of fertilizer N purchased per year during years 2007–2011 vs. years 2002–2006.
Source: Commercial Fertilizers annual data, 2002–2011, maintained by the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials for The Fertilizer Institute

Download the Fertilizer nitrogen data table (excel)(2 pp, 19 K)

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Amounts of fertilizer P2O5 purchased by states in individual years 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011, and the % change in average amounts purchased per year from 2002–2006 to 2007–2011. Fertilizer information is reported by state fertilizer control offices and excludes livestock manure, liming materials, peat, potting soils, soil amendments, soil additives, and soil conditioners.

State Fertilizer purchased in 2003
(1000 kg of P2O5)
Fertilizer purchased in 2005
(1000 kg of P2O5)
Fertilizer purchased in 2007
(1000 kg of P2O5)
Fertilizer purchased in 2009
(1000 kg of P2O5)
Fertilizer purchased in 2011
(1000 kg of P2O5)
% change from 2002–2006 to 2007–2011*
Alabama 44,090 55,450 52,253 30,683 39,936 -13%
Alaska 733 733 733 594 754 -3%
Arizona 32,319 46,129 28,318 20,071 20,429 -41%
Arkansas 84,605 74,587 78,079 47,873 66,212 -21%
California 207,920 236,867 250,766 102,797 172,683 -31%
Colorado 42,009 43,197 28,845 32,530 29,378 -25%
Connecticut 3,438 3,592 3,200 2,196 1,642 -35%
Delaware 3,768 3,551 3,409 2,863 3,264 19%
Florida 70,104 64,324 60,847 35,746 43,162 -33%
Georgia 111,193 118,646 118,204 19,808 22,781 -65%
Hawaii 4,265 4,265 4,265 3,583 4,344 -3%
Idaho 97,713 93,261 82,568 65,674 85,963 -9%
Illinois 231,367 278,092 310,134 245,310 298,433 -1%
Indiana 181,756 211,126 185,818 149,008 196,903 0%
Iowa 315,952 332,640 338,698 209,164 458,196 8%
Kansas 178,441 188,468 202,775 146,760 180,621 -3%
Kentucky 89,681 84,179 95,785 56,916 70,386 -20%
Louisiana 45,269 34,797 35,227 24,323 39,165 -5%
Maine 18,270 26,256 32,297 25,967 25,935 19%
Maryland 13,993 15,042 17,622 8,245 18,854 -17%
Massachusetts 4,267 5,222 5,065 3,172 2,744 -28%
Michigan 77,386 74,731 73,583 47,744 50,026 -25%
Minnesota 233,776 270,487 252,859 191,133 299,381 1%
Mississippi 31,027 28,754 35,965 16,570 22,527 -32%
Missouri 170,595 174,269 178,888 91,626 173,988 -14%
Montana 60,173 60,008 73,602 65,801 69,681 12%
Nebraska 210,829 247,184 231,818 274,365 289,017 10%
Nevada 7,862 7,190 6,717 5,004 6,531 -13%
New Hampshire 941 1,291 1,624 1,045 1,129 12%
New Jersey 8,470 8,021 8,712 6,105 4,321 -24%
New Mexico 10,596 8,108 13,288 9,548 10,621 -1%
New York 28,970 29,639 29,224 19,074 25,680 -20%
North Carolina 88,149 93,565 98,552 69,780 93,672 -10%
North Dakota 186,109 213,397 237,229 132,064 233,412 10%
Ohio 158,348 164,924 146,000 119,679 98,215 -11%
Oklahoma 90,676 81,970 53,160 38,988 57,418 -32%
Oregon 48,587 63,083 58,862 35,023 40,797 -15%
Pennsylvania 28,723 30,573 31,013 27,459 25,616 -17%
Rhode Island 515 756 826 582 460 -19%
South Carolina 25,164 22,059 24,941 6,258 14,642 -36%
South Dakota 178,039 199,819 195,622 166,166 242,449 3%
Tennessee 69,203 77,120 54,433 45,321 37,060 -40%
Texas 194,437 232,830 189,662 136,028 144,209 -24%
Utah 9,052 14,378 13,093 13,546 9,970 1%
Vermont 2,264 3,095 2,616 2,314 1,846 -10%
Virginia 49,641 43,332 40,368 26,259 28,970 -35%
Washington 50,432 52,630 53,608 38,619 42,026 -7%
West Virginia 2,914 1,259 3,429 847 4,125 45%
Wisconsin 64,409 68,040 78,748 54,947 80,269 -1%
Wyoming 21,392 22,098 22,399 19,052 27,799 1%

Note - P2O5 is 44% phosphorus. By convention, the amount (or analysis grade) of phosphorus in fertilizers is expressed in this oxide form. Additionally, The Association of American Plant Food Control officials have developed a uniform state fertilizer bill which says that available P2O5 must be guaranteed by the manufacturer and so the guaranteed analysis of phosphorus must be expressed in the oxide form.
* Data are the % change in average amounts of fertilizer P2O5 purchased per year during years 2007–2011 vs. years 2002–2006.
Source: Commercial Fertilizers annual data, 2002–2011, maintained by the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials for The Fertilizer Institute

Download the Fertilizer phosphorus data table (excel)(2 pp, 28 K)

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Source of Data
1. Commercial Fertilizers annual data, 2002-2011, maintained by The Association of American Plant Food Control Officials, Inc. for the Fertilizer Institute.

Data source information
Data are from the 2002-2011 Commercial Fertilizers databases, maintained by the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO) for The Fertilizer Institute. With a few exceptions (see next section below), these yearly data are based on fertilizer consumption information, in terms of fertilizer sales or shipments, reported by state fertilizer control offices to AAPFCO. The data presented are the amounts of fertilizer purchased by each state in individual years corresponding to the Commercial Fertilizers 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 reports. In most cases, the yearly report presents data for that “fertilizer year” or FY (from July 1st of previous year through June 30th of year of the report), but see the next section below for exceptions. The data in the column entitled % change from 2002–2006 to 2007–2011 equal the average amounts purchased in years 2007–2011 subtracted by the average amounts purchased in years 2002–2006, divided by the average amounts purchased in years 2002–2006, and converted to percentage format: ([(av 2007–2011) – (av 2002–2006)]/av 2002–2006)*100.

What to consider when using these data
Most of the data presented here are based on fertilizer consumption information, in terms of sales or shipments, submitted by state fertilizer control offices to AAPFCO, and are for the “fertilizer year” or FY (from July 1st of previous year through June 30th of current/report year). Cases in which alternative methods were used by AAPFCO or states to obtain or report data, or data are for alternative time frames, are listed here:

  • Estimation of fertilizer purchased in AL, AK, HI, and ME for all years, in UT for years 2008 and 2009, in VT for year 2010, and in WY for years 2002–2009. For these states, the AAPFCO estimates reported and used for this dataset were either:
    • set as equal to a previous year’s data or estimate (AL, 2004 estimate set as equal to 2003 estimate; AK, 2003–2008 estimates set as equal to 2002 estimate; HI, 2002–2008 estimates set as equal to an original estimate by TVA ~1989; UT, 2008 estimate set as equal to 2007 data); or
    • based on the last data or estimate reported by the state (AK, 2002 and 2009–2011 estimates based on the previous year’s estimate; HI, 2009–2011 estimates based on the previous year’s estimate; ME, 2002–2010 estimates based on 1994 data; UT, 2009 estimate based on 2008 estimate; VT, 2010 estimate based on 2009 data; and WY, 2002–2009 estimates based on 1993 data) with yearly adjustments derived from the weighted average of the change in the reported tonnage from surrounding states (AK and HI, 2009 estimates used 36 “surrounding” states, 2010 estimates used 45 “surrounding” states, and 2011 estimates used 46 “surrounding” states; ME, 2002–2011 estimates used CT, MA, NH and RI; UT, 2009 estimate used CO and NV; VT, 2010 estimate used 45 “surrounding” states; and WY 2002–2009 estimates used CO, ID, MT and in all years except 2009, UT); or
    • based on income from inspection fees (AL, all years except 2004).

    All estimates were proportioned into the amounts of individual materials and grades (and thus amounts of phosphorus vs. nitrogen) that were purchased the year of each state’s last detailed report or original estimate (AL, 1998; see last bullet for other states).

  • Estimation of fertilizer grade (and thus amounts of phosphorus vs. nitrogen) by states or AAPFCO for some or all mixed fertilizers. This included non-farm fertilizers in CA; all mixed fertilizers in GA, NC, AL; all mixed fertilizers in AZ from 2001–2006; all mixed fertilizers in OH in 2005; specialty products in TX; and all mixed fertilizers in WI in 2002.
  • In the 2002-2008 reports, data from VT, ND, and SD are for the previous calendar year.
  • Data from VT (2009 report), and CO, ND and SD (2009–2011 reports) are for the calendar year (Jan-Dec of the year of the report).
  • Data from OH (2006–2011 reports) are for Nov 1 of the previous year–Oct 30 of the year of the report.
  • Data from TX (all years’ reports) are for Sept 1 of the previous year–Aug 31 of the year of the report.

Additionally, users should consider that the rate of delivery of nitrogen and phosphorus from land-applied fertilizer to streams is dependent on the amount, timing, and placement of application, as well as best management practices to minimize runoff from fields.

References and links to other data sources
1. Ruddy, B.C., D.L. Lorenz, and D.K. Mueller. 2006. County-level estimates of nutrient inputs to the land surface of the conterminous United States, 1982–2001: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5012.

2. Jasinski, S.M., Kramer, D.A., Ober, J.A., and Searls, J.P. 1999. Fertilizers – Sustaining Global Food Supplies: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 155-99.

3. U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Fertilizer Use and Price Datasets.

4.  The Fertilizer Institute.

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