Reducing the use of pesticides

As an agricultural producer or contract applicator, you have several tools at your disposal to reduce and rationalize the use of pesticides and reduce the risk of pesticides to health and the environment.

SAgE pesticides

For easy and free information on the risks associated with pesticides approved for use in Québec, see the SAgE pesticides This hyperlink will open in a new window. tool that allows you to:

  • Research the health and environmental toxicity of pesticides, the characteristics of commercial products, and the pesticides that are approved for any given crop;
  • Compare the risks associated with different pesticides approved for the same use in a given crop in order to make an enlightened choice;
  • Assess the health and environmental risk of pesticides on the basis of a specific application scenario;
  • Become informed about the rational and safe use of pesticides.

SAgE Pesticides also provides a Pesticide Register This hyperlink will open in a new window., which is an online tool for keeping a record of all pesticides used on a farm by the farmer or contract applicator. It is used to keep a record of the risks of all pesticides used by a business during a given season. Assessments can then be compared on a year-to-year basis to reduce the risk stemming from pesticides used by the company.
The Register also allows farmersto enter information required by the Pesticide Management Code and share it with their advisors. A CRAAQ account (Centre de référence en agriculture et agroalimentaire du Québec) is required to access the Pesticide Register.

Education and awareness

Many publications are available to help understand regulations and use good practices.

For improved water protection, read “Preventing Pesticide Contamination of Groundwater (PDF 189 Kb)” (French) and “Existing Wells in Agricultural Settings (PDF 367 Kb)” (French).

To avoid drift (carriage of pesticides outside the target treatment area), Windbreaks to reduce pesticide drift when using air-blast sprayers (PDF 1.53 Mb) (French) can be of help.

The Pesticide Information Kit: Protecting the Environment and Human Health This hyperlink will open in a new window. (French) provides easy-to-understand information and best practices.

For prevention and safety tips, the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail This hyperlink will open in a new window.(CNESST) and Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail This hyperlink will open in a new window.(IRSST) offer a number of useful, downloadable publications.

For information on appropriate personal protective equipment, see “Safe Practices and Personal Protective Equipment This hyperlink will open in a new window.” (French).

To learn how to prevent hazards associated with pesticide use, read “Protect Your Crops, Protect Your Health! This hyperlink will open in a new window.”.

If you are interested in protecting your pollinators, “Best Practices for Protecting Bees This hyperlink will open in a new window. can be useful.”.
Finally, if you are interested in adopting good field crop practices, read:

For guidance in making decisions about whether or not to recommend specific pesticides, including the highest-risk ones, agronomists can consult the Ordre des agronomes du Québec’s lignes directrices en phytoprotection (crop protection guidelines) This hyperlink will open in a new window. (French).

Last update: May 5, 2022

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