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 Robert Spencer.
This document is maintained by Brenda McLellan.
This information published to the web on July 17, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on September 5, 2017.