Good Neighbour Policy
Any pesticide drift onto adjacent areas is not only a waste of money but can be a potential hazard to neighbours’ crops, houses, dugouts, pastures and gardens. Some hazards may not be visible until spray equipment is too close to prevent damage or exposure. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development provides the following notification guidelines:
Notification that pesticides, such as insecticides, fungicides or herbicides are to be applied creates the opportunity to identify and resolve problems prior to spraying. Notification is not seeking permission to spray. Farmers have the legal right to apply pesticides on their property. Notification is simply a good neighbour policy that helps eliminate potential risks.
Adjacent landowners can adjust their practices and schedules to accommodate spraying. For example, livestock and beehives might possibly be moved or otherwise protected. Residents can plan to be away from the area if they choose, or ensure that they remain inside houses with their windows closed while spraying is in progress. If there are additional concerns, farmers or their custom applicators can adjust application practices to prevent problems.
Contact any landowners immediately adjacent to a field that is to be sprayed. Priority should be given to land parcels with residences but other land parcels should not be ignored in case they have sensitive crops, beehives, new shelterbelt plantings, or other hazards that may not be immediately obvious.
Provide notification 48 to 72 hours in advance (if possible). Persons receiving notification should be advised that, due to weather or drift management considerations, spraying might be delayed. For sensitive situations, arrangements can be made for notification after a delay has occurred.
Notify neighbours of the chemical that will be sprayed, the method of application (ground or air), the pest being controlled, the name of the application service if a custom applicator has been hired, and any specific concerns that may be important, e.g. bee safety.
Try to have neighbours identify any potential hazards that you or your custom applicator will need to factor into spraying decisions. For a high hazard situation on one side of a field, you may want to spray when a light breeze is blowing away from this area.
For additional information to help address concerns prior to spraying, consult the pesticide manufacturer. Most pesticide labels will identify toll-free information lines provided by pesticide manufacturers. If you are using a custom applicator, the applicator can provide required telephone numbers or discuss precautions with your neighbour.