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Home > Ag Chemicals & Fertilizers > Pesticides > Reporting Pesticide Complaints > Pesticide & Fertilizer - Health & Safety FAQs > Pesticides... What? Where? When?

Pesticide and Fertilizer - Health & Safety FAQs

How do I know what pesticides are applied? where? and when?

The most common pesticide products applied are herbicides (weed control) in both agricultural and urban areas. Insecticides (insect/mite control) and fungicides (fungus control) are also applied in agricultural areas, but to a lesser amount (on a pound for pound basis). Herbicides can be applied with a fertilizer commonly found in lawn products (referred to as weed/feed products) either as a liquid or in dry granules. In urban areas, if it’s May or June, weed/feed product applications may begin and occur thereafter every 4-6 weeks through September.

For agricultural areas, if it’s June, the product being applied is likely glyphosate (sometimes referred to as Roundup) on soybeans and/or corn. If it’s July or August and the crop being treated is soybeans, the product may be a combination of glyphosate and an insecticide or just an insecticide to control a relatively small pale yellow insect, soybean aphid, which forms colonies at an exponential growth rate and invades soybeans.

Insecticides used to control soybean aphid are applied either by ground or by air. Air applications made by small aircraft or helicopters are most often made in agricultural areas between June and September. Insecticides and fungicides are usually applied in a liquid.

Much like insecticides, fungicides applied to control a multitude of pests are also made by air, again, most often in agricultural areas. Depending on the pest population and the weather, fungicides may be applied as often as weekly in potatoes, sugar beets (west and northwest Minnesota), corn, or soybeans with the most frequent applications occurring between mid-July through August.

Biological pesticides (organisms that are antagonistic to the pest) are often applied to mosquito nymphs or to control forest tent caterpillars (in the moth family) by aircraft flying much lower than usual in effort to strategically place the pesticide for maximum effectiveness. To protect trees most vulnerable to tent caterpillars and defoliation, most of these applications are made in May located in north and west central Minnesota or Minnesota’s lake country in and among lake property, lakes, and communities. 


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