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Driven by factors such as an increased reliance on genetically modified crops, government policies, and market forces, the crop mix in South Dakota and elsewhere in the United States has become less diverse and moved toward the production of corn and soybeans as the most predominant cash crops over the past two decades. Coinciding with a reduced complexity of crop rotation practices, the prevalence of mono-cropping has increased and crop chemical usage has changed as well. Overall, the reduced reliance on traditional crop rotation practices for mitigating pests corresponds with an increase in crop acres treated with insecticides, expressed as a proportion of total cropland acres, and referred to in the literature as the extensive usage of insecticides. In this paper, we identify how changing cropping patterns in South Dakota have affected the extensive usage of insecticides, an aspect often overlooked by producers and policy makers. Results indicate that increased corn production has contributed to an increase in the share of cropland acres treated with insecticides at the county level in eastern South Dakota.


Published in PLOS One, Vol. 13, Iss. 11, 2018, available via

© 2018 Fausti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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