Pesticides are one of many tools available to us for effective protection of crops from weeds, insects and diseases. Pesticides require special care and handling. The following practices outline safe, responsible and effective procedures for pesticide use and handling that can help protect our environment, our water supplies - and ourselves.
When selecting pesticides, recognize that pesticide product selection should be made based on a number of important factors. In addition to legal requirements, consider the following voluntary Best Management Practices (BMPs) when making pesticide application and handling decisions.
Assess product effectiveness. For annual bulletins describing the effectiveness of various pesticides to control their intended pest, including Cultural and Chemical Weed Control in Field Crops, visit the University of Minnesota Extension Applied Weed Science Research website.
Select pesticides with minimal impact on non-target species and use pesticide control options that minimize impacts on beneficial, threatened or endangered species. Refer to your pesticide label's Environmental Hazards section for toxicity information on beneficial insects such as bees. For general information on protecting non-target organisms, including Minnesota's threatened and endangered species, visit the MDAs Endangered Species web page or consult the University of Minnesota Extension's Private Pesticide Applicator Training Manual, 2004, 18.3 ed.
Minimize pest resistance by:
Consider possible toxicological risk associated with pesticide exposure. For information on a number of pesticides and their associated human toxicity values and ratings, consult the USDA Natural Resource Conservation's Pesticide Properties Database.
Evaluate pesticide and site characteristics affecting off-site movement of chemicals.
For information on relative soil potential to retain chemicals on-site, relative chemical potential to move off-site, and a procedure that considers the combined effects of soil and pesticide characteristics on off-site movement, consult the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's soils data for runoff ratings for both solution and sediment.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture • University of Minnesota Extension • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Working cooperatively to balance pest management and water quality protection. October 2008
Pesticide & Fertilizer Management Division