Crops - 8.2 Pesticide Use

This good agricultural practice applies to 
all farms that apply pesticides, including products used in organic production.

Pesticide: Includes insecticide, fungicide, bactericide, herbicide, rodenticide, miticide, molluscicide, algicide, avicide, nematicide and piscicide.

8.2 Pesticide Use


What Needs to Be Done

Make sure pesticides are used properly and, if required, applied by someone who holds a valid Pesticide Applicator certificate.

How to Do It

Check the Label

  • Use only pesticide products registered for use in Canada.
  • Use only for specified crops, weeds or pests as indicated on the label.
  • Read and follow all label directions, even if the product has been on the market for years, as application rates and usage information may change.

Apply Pesticides Appropriately

  • Make sure applications are done by a certified applicator or a custom applicator.
  • Apply pesticides under the right environmental conditions to reduce the possibility of spray drift, run-off or leaching that may contaminate other crops. Check the product label for details.
  • Maintain and calibrate the application equipment to deliver the correct rate uniformly over the field. Learn more about equipment maintenance and calibration.
  • Double-check calculations to make sure the application rate is the same as the rate on the label.
  • Clean and rinse equipment using manufacturer’s recommended procedures between applications to prevent carryover and contamination.
  • Follow the pre-harvest interval (PHI), pre-grazing interval (PGI), pre-slaughter interval (PSI), and milking restrictions (MR) requirements on the label. This ensures that no produce is harvested and that no animals graze on a treated field until the legal number of days after the application has passed. Failure to wait may result in residues exceeding the maximum residue limit in the crop or contamination of the milk and/or meat.
  • In the event that harvesting or grazing occurred before the PHI, PGI, PSI, or MR, segregate the product.

In General

If there are concerns about residues, hold or separate the product and discuss options with a provincial and/or federal agricultural specialist.

Terms Used in this Good Production Practice

Integrated Pest Management (IPM): The process of planning and taking steps that will prevent or manage pests.

Milking Restrictions (MR): The time that must pass between the pesticide application and milking for human consumption.

Pest Control Product Number (PCP#): A Pest Control Product Act registration number that shows that the product has been registered by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA).

Pre-Grazing Interval (PGI): The time that must pass between the application of pesticides to a crop and the grazing of animals on that crop.

Pre-Harvest Interval (PHI): The time that must pass between the application of pesticides to a crop and the harvesting of that crop.

Pre-Slaughter Interval (PSI): The time that must pass between the pesticide application and slaughter of animals.

Records to keep

Use the Pesticide Use Record (PDF) or your own record that includes:

  • Application date and time of completion,
  • Chemical applied (with PCP #),
  • Rate applied,
  • Weather conditions (e.g. temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction),
  • Crop and stage of growth,
  • Target pest(s),
  • Field identification, location and size of treated area,
  • Earliest possible harvesting/grazing date, and
  • Initials (and certification number if contracted out) of applicator.

If You Need an Audit

Be prepared for the auditor to review:

  • Pesticide use records
  • A valid pesticide applicator certificate and/or license

Laws & Regulations that Apply

Forms & Records

Form #8A: Pesticide Use Record
Go back to 8.1 Soil and Environment Evaluation Proceed to 8.3 Nutrient Use