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National Agricultural Aviation Association eNewsletter
Voice of the Aerial Application Industry
March 18, 2021
In Case You Missed It!
Canadian Ag Aviation Industry Told by Their Regulatory Agency to Follow Labeled GPA Rate—Same Message Applies to U.S. Ag Aviators
The Canadian Aerial Applicators Association (CAAA) received a letter in February from its government’s Pesticide Compliance Program (PCP)—a part of the Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. EPA. PMRA is responsible for verifying and enforcing compliance with Canada’s pesticide laws and regulations. Like the U.S., Canada’s pesticide regulations require all pesticide applicators to read and follow label requirements. Using of a pesticide inconsistent with its labeling is a violation of the law.

Recently the PCP has been conducting inspections of Canadian aerial application operations. During these inspections, they noted situations where ag aviators were using lower spray application rates (gallons of spray per acre or GPA) than the minimum GPA allowed by the label. Just like in the U.S., this is a violation of the pesticide label and the law.

In addition, based on advertisements for aerial application services using electrostatic spray systems, PCP reminded CAAA that electrostatic spray systems have not been evaluated by PMRA and are therefore not listed on pesticide labels as approved aerial application equipment. Because of this, the use of electrostatic spray systems for aerial applications is off-label and illegal.

PCP requested that CAAA communicate with members about these label violations and urge aerial applicators to always follow pesticide label directions. They reminded CAAA that non-compliance with following the label could result in enforcement actions taken against operations found to be in violation. Electrostatic application systems are allowed to be used in the United States, but the labeled GPA must be used to ensure legal use.

This letter also serves as a reminder to U.S. aerial applicators about the importance of always reading and following the instructions on pesticide labels. While there are many times that labels can be confusing and even contradictory, it is critical that aerial applicators do their best to comply with all application requirements found on the label. Remember, just because there is research that suggests a lower spray application rate may provide equal or better efficacy, this does not mean that it is legal to apply at that rate. No matter what the research says, it is off-label and illegal to apply at a GPA lower than the minimum specified on the label.

NAAA has developed a good working relationship with the EPA. We have been successful at reregistering products with aerial applications on the label while minimizing burdensome and unnecessary restrictions and made substantial progress towards changing the models EPA uses to estimate the risk of drift from aerial applications. The efforts have resulted in the maximum allowed wind speed during which aerial applications can be made increasing from 10 to 15 mph for many pesticides. The backbone of these successes is the demonstrated professionalism of ag aviators in the U.S. Widespread label violations of any type could damage the relationship between NAAA and EPA and set back the gains that have been made. Please remember to always read and follow pesticide label directions.
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This newsletter is intended for NAAA members only. NAAA requests that should any party desire to publish, distribute or quote any part of this newsletter that they first seek the permission of the Association. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), its Board of Directors, staff or membership. Items in this newsletter are not the result of paid advertising and are only meant to highlight newsworthy developments. No endorsement by NAAA is intended or implied.
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