Frequently Asked Questions About Using the Pesticide Sales and Use Reporting (PSUR) Database


Where do the pesticide sales and use data files come from?

Commercial pesticide applicators and technicians who apply pesticides and people who sell pesticides under certain conditions are required to submit reports to the New York State Department of Conservation (NYSDEC) about the pesticides used or sold. This information is then compiled into a data base that is maintained by the Pesticide Sales and Use Reporting (PSUR) Database Group at Cornell University.

Return to the Table of Contents

Who can make use of the data?

Interested citizens and researchers can make use of the data, including:

  • Individuals and groups interested in learning about specific pesticide products and their commercial use in New York State.
  • Scientists conducting research about pesticides and/or human health.
Return to the Table of Contents

How can I make use of the data?

There are three ways to make use of the pesticide sales and use data:

  • Search the publicly available data for a limited number of pesticide products using their EPA Registration Numbers.
  • Download the publicly available data and analyze the data with programs such as Excel, Access, SPSS, and SAS.
  • If you are a researcher involved in human health-related research, apply to the Health Research Science Board for access to the confidential data.
Return to the Table of Contents

How can I search the pesticide sales and use data?

Follow these steps:

  1. At the PSUR web page, on the left under NYS Pesticide Sales & Use Reports, select the year you would like to search.
  2. Under Contents, select Reports.
  3. You can now select:
    • Pesticide Sales to Certified Private Applicators, statewide, by county, or by ZIP code;
    • Sales of Restricted Use Pesticides to Manufacturers, Compounders, and Importers, Resale or End Use;
    • Usage Data Reported by Applicators/Technicians, statewide, by county, or by ZIP code.
Return to the Table of Contents

What data files are available for download?

There are nine data files and a "readme" document for each year since 1997 available to the public. These files include:

  • Product names (1 file: prodnames.tab)
  • Sales of restricted use pesticides and general use agricultural pesticides by commercial permit holders (3 files: sales_all.tab, sales_cnty.tab, sales_zip.tab)
  • Sales of restricted use pesticides by commercial permit holders (1 file: sales_euse.tab)
  • Resale of restricted use pesticides by commercial permit holders to other commercial permit holders (1 file: sales_resale.tab)
  • Use by commercial applicators (3 files: use_all.tab, use_cnty.tab, use_zip.tab)
Return to the Table of Contents

What do I need to know about the data before I use it?

We suggest you begin by reading the Pesticide Sales and Applications Annual Report, especially the section entitled Data Qualifications, for the year(s) you will be downloading. (See The Pesticide Reporting Law (PRL) web page and click on the year for the report of interest.) In addition, we have provided a Data Dictionary that will help you use the data. The Data Dictionary will explain the data fields and things to keep in mind as you use the data. Finally, use the "readme" file provided with the data.

Return to the Table of Contents

How can I download these files?

All nine data files and the "readme" file are available, by year, at the PSUR website. The files are stored in a zipped-file format, so to open the file you will need a utility on your computer that recognizes zipped files. Windows users can follow the steps below to download and open the data files.

  1. At the PSUR website, on the gray navigation bar on the left under "NYS Pesticide Sales & Use Reports," select the year you would like to search.
  2. Under Contents, select Download Reports.
  3. For Windows users, select allreports.zip, unzip the file, and save the files to your computer or network. (Note that if you plan to download data files for more than one year, the files for each year will need to be placed in different folders because files have the same names from one year to the next.)
  4. For Windows Excel users:
    1. Run Excel.
    2. In the File menu, select Open. At the top of this window (Look in:), select the folder where you saved the unzipped files. At the bottom of this window (Files of type:), select All Files (*.*). From the list of files, select the .tab file you want to open. This will start the Text Import Wizard. (If you get a warning that "File was not loaded completely," do not use the file. This will occur with use_zip because it has more rows than Excel can handle.)
    3. In Steps 1 and 2, select Next.
    4. In Step 3, in the box "Column Data Format" select Text and highlight the column that contains the EPA Registration Number (column 1 in prod_names, sales_all, sales_euse, sales_resale, and use_all; column 2 in sales_cnty and use_cnty) and ZIP code (column 1 in sales_zip). Select Finish.
    5. Save the imported data as an Excel workbook.
Return to the Table of Contents