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Saskatchewan pesticide regulations amended

by Richard Wilkins, Provincial Specialist, Pesticide Regulatory, Crops and Irrigation Branch

Dec. 14, 2015 - Saskatchewan Agriculture has recently introduced several amendments to The Pest Control Products regulations in order to reflect current industry practices, enhance the protection of the environment and harmonize Saskatchewan regulations with those of other provinces and the federal government. These changes were made following extensive consultations with stakeholders. The amendments recognize ware are, for the most part, already accepted industry practice.

A number of changes were made to the regulations. The amount of insurance that aerial applicators are required to carry has increased to a minimum of $100,000. This change reflects the current industry practice and protects producers by recognizing the increased value of their crops.

Employees who mix and load pesticides for aerial application are now required to be trained and certified. This training and certification can be done in-house by companies offering aerial application of pesticides, if they meet the standards/criteria set by Saskatchewan Agriculture in conjunction with Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

For companies offering pesticide application services, GPS records, when GPS is used, along with the other records kept by the applicator must be produced within two weeks of a request by Ministry officials.

The regulations now require that employees of pesticide application companies who are not licensed applicators must be directly supervised by a licensed applicator "within visual and auditory hailing distance" when applying pesticides.

Five-year or one-year pesticide applicator licence options are now available.

The Ministry now recognizes Saskatchewan Polytechnic's voluntary training program for producers as consistent with the National Agricultural Standard. This means the training meets the pesticide label requirement for training.

What do these regulatory changes mean to the average farmer or rancher?

The licencing exemption for producers is still included in the regulations. Some pesticide manufactureres have started to specify user training requirements on their product labels. This amendment recognizes the voluntary training and certification program offered by Saskatchewan Polytechnic. This ensures producers who have taken this course will have continued access to those crop protection products requiring training and certification.