Our agency regulates the sale, use, and disposal of pesticides. The Pesticide Fertilizer Management Division of the MDA monitors the use and environmental impact of pesticides and develops best management practices to protect human health and the environment.
Pesticides have a broad range of uses. A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or lessening the damage of any pest and may be a chemical substance or a biological agent. Pesticides are often used to control weeds, insects, and plant diseases. Other pesticides registered for use in Minnesota are chemicals not commonly thought of as pest control agents, such as bleach and antimicrobial household sprays used to sanitize surfaces. When applying pesticides always read and follow the label.

Applying Pesticides

Post emergence herbicide application on cornIndividuals wishing to apply pesticides commercially or those wishing to apply restricted-use pesticides privately to their agricultural fields must meet certain requirements. To determine the license and certificate type you need, review the Pesticide Applicator License Types


Selling Pesticides in the State of Minnesota

Pesticides must first be registered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture before they can be sold or distributed in the state. Individuals wishing to sell or distribute pesticides must obtain a Pesticide Dealer License.  

Product Registration

Both agricultural pesticides and non-ag pesticides must be registered with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture before they can be sold or distributed in the state. Product registrations expire December 31 of each year. Renewal applications must be postmarked before January 1 to avoid a penalty fee.

Use Complaints

A team of statewide inspectors is available to conduct routine inspections and enforcement checks, provide compliance assistance and investigate agricultural chemical use complaints. Learn more about the complaint process and access the complaint forms.

Pesticide Management

MDA pesticide field inspectorPesticide management is guided by a Pesticide Management Plan (PMP) to address impacts to the state's water resources and guide the prevention, evaluation and mitigation of nonpoint source occurrences of pesticides. As part of this our agency has developed Pesticide Best Management Practices.

Monitoring Ag Chemicals in Water

MDA employee collecting a water sampleWe collect and analyze water samples from multiple locations throughout the agricultural areas of the state to determine the identity, magnitude of concentration and the frequency of pesticide presence in Minnesota's groundwater and surface water resources. Learn more about ag chemical monitoring.