Pesticides in Organic Production

This module provides an overview of how and when pesticides are used in the production of ornamental and food-producing plants by organic growers.

VegOneThere is a common belief that the organic designation means pesticide-free, but in fact pesticides are often used in organic production. It is important to understand what IS or IS NOT a pesticide and how to properly handle pesticides, so that organic growers can maintain their USDA certification, protect their workers and the environment, and comply with state and federal pesticide laws. Click on any of the sections below (or bullet list on the left) to gain an understanding of the various aspects of pesticide use and safety within an organic production system.

This module was initially compiled by Lenora Jones, Washington State Univ. Urban IPM program
It has been reviewed and edited by:

  • Carrie Foss, M.S., Urban IPM Coordinator, Washington State University
  • Dean Herzfeld, Ph.D., Pesticide Safety Education Specialist, University of Minnesota.
  • Wayne Buhler, Ph.D., Pesticide Safety Education Specialist, NC State University.


Initial compilation courtesy of Lenora Jones

Washington State University Extension