Pesticide Issues in Horticultural Settings (Commercial and other) - Frequently Asked Questions

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 Information for applicators
  • There are a limited number of pesticides registered for use on horticultural crops
  • Commercially registered chemicals require an individual to possess a pesticide applicators license
  • When selecting a chemical, consider the following:
    • Availability of the product
    • Cost of the product and the application
      • Mode of action of the chemical (systemic vs. contact, soil application or seed treatment, etc.) Affects both duration of activity and safety issues (PHI)
    • Range of pests controlled by the chosen chemical
** There is no one chemical that can take care of all pests. Proper identification of the pest will ensure proper product selection **

Before using a registered chemical, read and follow the pesticide label, as the label contains the following important information:
  • Safety precautions, equipment, etc.
  • Appropriate application rates
  • Application timing and optimum conditions
    (e.g. pre-bloom, pre or post-emergent, critical temperatures, etc.)
  • Application restrictions (frequency, total number, etc.)
  • Pre-harvest intervals
  • Pest controlled or suppressed by pesticide
** Electronic labels of all currently registered pesticides can be found on the Pest Management Regulatory Agency website using a simple PMRA Product Search Engine **

** For more detailed information on the specific chemicals, contact the manufacturer **

When using a registered chemical:

  • Follow directions for mixing, application, safety, etc.
  • As a courtesy, notify neighbouring properties/individuals
If you suspect that you are the victim of drift (Herbicide, Insecticide, Fungicide)

Document the following information:

  • Time and date of the suspected application
  • Weather conditions at the time of application
  • The type of chemical applied (if possible)
  • Symptoms and affected species (be specific)
  • Take pictures
  • If other people have or may have been affected, get a report from them
Contact Alberta Environment & Parks to report the problem (800-222-6514).

Rapid reporting increases likelihood that something can be done (within 24hrs).

In the case of fungicide or insecticide application, consult pesticide label for safe pre-harvest intervals (for your safety and peace of mind).

Prepared by Robert Spencer, Ag-Info Centre, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry

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For more information about the content of this document, contact the Ag-Info Centre.
This information published to the web on July 17, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on September 5, 2017.