NEW Guidelines Surrounding the Purchase of Pest Control Products in Protected Spaces

Friday, October 27, 2023

Attention Protected Producers! There is a new national standard on the block.

The Protected Agriculture Stewardship Standards were established to assist protected agriculture operators in the identification and mitigation of risk associated with pesticide application. This set of standards was drafted by a multi-stakeholder committee including CropLife Canada in collaboration provincial and federal grower groups. Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) acted in an advisory capacity to guide development of the standards.

The standards apply to any crops grown under structures, such as greenhouses, shade houses, hoop houses, high tunnels, warehouses, containers etc. This new motion requires a certificate in order to purchase any pest control products registered for use in protected spaces effective January 1, 2024. This includes biological-based products, as well as conventional chemistries. 

There are two general streams associated with this new set of standards:

Category 1PA -> Protected Ag Operators using any closed loop irrigation/chemigation systems. A closed loop system is one where any excess irrigation/chemigation liquid delivered to the crop is captured via trough. drainage tile, or other similar conveyance system. Operators using these systems are referred to as Category 1Pa Operators. 

NOTE: warehouse production structures and freight container growing operations with no subterranean plumbing and continuous flooring are excluded from this group

Category 2PA -> Protected Ag Operators not using closed loop irrigation/chemigation systems are referred to as Category 2PA Operators. 

The path forward looks different depending on which of the two streams your particular farm falls into.

A few additional tidbits:

-For those who have both types of irrigation/chemigation on their farm, a category 2 waiver is not needed. Follow through the path for Category 1PA. 

-For farms that have multiple locations/addresses - 

  • A site spanning multiple address that are adjacent to one another will be considered a single site
  • Multiple addresses that are NOT adjacent to one another will each be treated as a separate assessment, and a separate registration must be completed. 
-What happens if I am currently a Category 2PA operator, and we install a closed loop system in all/some of our operation?
  •     When a category 2 waiver is completed, the operator agrees to terms, including notifying the AWSA of any changes in use, scope, or category. In these cases, the operation should be audited for compliance with the Standards. Once successfully audited, a certificate will be issued which renders the original category 2 waiver redundant. 

Stay tuned for details on an upcoming virtual Q&A session with a representative from CropLife in the next month! This will be a great opportunity to get clarity on the new standards effective January 1, 2024. Deadline to Register is December 31, 2023. 

In the meantime, feel free to explore AWSA's page on the Protected Agriculture Stewardship Standards and the resources provided there.