Benefits of Recordkeeping

Following is a list of various benefits for professional applicators who diligently maintain application records. The benefits are increased significantly with more information recorded.

Pest Management Decisions

  • Assess the best performance of pest control tactics and timing
  • Plan for pesticide (insecticide, fungicide, herbicide) resistance management
  • Know and plan for replanting restrictions due to residual soil activity and the carry-over concerns for subsequent crops

Pesticide Management Decisions

  • Scheduling: know timing restrictions for harvesting, mowing, grazing, etc.
  • Crop rotation planning and concerns for carry-over injury
  • Document application timing to food processors regarding residues

Application Efficacy – How Well Did the Chemical Work

  • Timing for the pest – what pest growth stage is best controlled
  • Track the success of reduced rates of application
  • Track adjuvant use and rates
  • Record alternative application techniques such as electrostatic sprayers, shrouds, injections, etc.
  • Assess nozzle type and sizes which can impact coverage and off-target movement
  • Record weather factors related to efficacy
    • cool and dry conditions may reduce pest control
    • hot or cold temperatures can reduce the selectivity of certain herbicides
    • hot temperatures can increase volatility
    • cloudy days can impact plant growth and influence herbicide efficacy
    • rainfastness: timing of subsequent irrigation or rainfall, or lack thereof

Liability Protection

  • Documents proper use (rates, volumes, timing, protective measures)
  • Verify your professionalism (due care and concern)
  • Good records have stopped compliance investigations immediately
  • Each missing record item is a violation

Inventory Control and Dollars

  • Better estimate your needs by knowing what you used in previous years
  • Don’t buy more than needed; minimize disposal headaches
  • Lenders and land developers often require records to evaluate potential environmental liability before lending money or buying land

Pesticide use data resource

  • Impact future availability of some pesticides through re-registration
  • Support national use survey by USDA National Agricultural Statistic Services
  • Respond to the public’s concern regarding pesticide use

References Cited

Aerts, M., O.N. Nesheim, and F.M. Fishel. 2005. Pesticide Recordkeeping. Pesticide Information Office, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication: April 1998. Revised September 2006.

Bellinger, R.G., Recordkeeping Index. Clemson University Web site

Bronson, C.H. 2005. Pesticide Records: Benefits and Requirements, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Florida Department of Agriculture. 2pp.

Gardisser, D.R. 2001. Drift and Its Legal Implications. Proceedings of the Pesticide Spray Drift Educator’s Conference. Kansas City, MO. CD version.

Janssen, C. and F. Whitford. 2001. The Why’s and How’s of Pesticide Recordkeeping, Purdue University, Illinois. PPP #54



Authored by Carol Ramsay

Washington State University Extension