readthelabelPlease read the pesticide label prior to use. The information contained at this web site is not a substitute for a pesticide label. Trade names used herein are for convenience only. No endorsement of products is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products implied.

  • Federal pesticide recordkeeping regulations require private pesticide applicators to keep records of restricted use pesticide applications!
  • Applicators must keep the records for two years from the date of the pesticide application.
  • There is no required form.  Any form (handwritten or on computer) is acceptable as long as the required data is included.
  • The following information must be recorded within 14 days following the pesticide application.  It will be easier to accurately record the data if you record it promptly.
  • Make sure you know how to record a spot treatment.

Recordkeeping Requirements

1.  The applicator's name and certification number. In Montana, the applicator's license number ends with -11, meaning "private applicator".  If the application was made by someone who is not certified (employee or family member), then record the name and number of the certified applicator who supervised the application.

2. The month, day, and year of the application.

3.  The location of the application.  Record the location of the treated area, not the address of the farm or business.  Your goal is to be able to identify the exact area of the application two years later if requested.  The law allows any of the following designations:

  • county, range, township, and section;
  • maps or written descriptions;
  • a USDA identification system such as those used by the Natural Resources Conservation Service or the Consolidated Farm Service Agency (formerly SCS and ASCS) which involves maps and a numbering system to identify field locations;
  • the legal property description;
  • applicator-derived methods as long as the application area can be identified.

    4.  The size of the area treated.  This information should be recorded in a unit of measure such as acres, linear feet, bushels treated, cubic feet, square feet, number of animals, etc. This is normally expressed on the pesticide label in reference to the application being made.  For special applications such as alternate middles, weed wicks or band applications, record the total area covered.  For example, if an 80 acre grove is treated using an alternate middle approach, the entire 80 acres would be recorded as the "size of area treated."  

Helpful Hint! Knowing your sprayer's calibration will help you determine the size of the site. 

Use this formula: 

                            Acres sprayed =

       Gallons used          
Sprayer output in GPA

Example 1.
If your sprayer is calibrated at 30 GPA and you have sprayed out 300 gallons of a pesticide/water mix, this means you have sprayed 10 acres.  

                                       10 acres =

  300 gallons  
     30 GPA


Example 2. Suppose you are using a backpack sprayer that is calibrated at 80 GPA. Suppose you sprayed out 5 gallons of solution. The size of the area you have sprayed is 0.0625 acres. 

                                 0.0625 acres =

  5 gallons  
   80 GPA

Since there are 43,560 ft2 in an acre, you have also sprayed 2,722.5 ft2 (0.0625 acres x 43,560 ft2).

5.  The crop, commodity, stored product, or site to which the pesticide was applied.  Refer to the pesticide label for guidance if you are unsure how to record this information.

6.  The total amount applied.  Record the total quantity of the product used -- not the quantity after water or other substances were added.  Amount does not refer to percent of active ingredient.  Use the pesticide label for reference and record the amount in quantities similar to label language.  For example, if the label states the pesticide is to be measured in pints or ounces, then record the amount in that measurement.

Helpful Hint!  Knowing your sprayer's calibration will help you determine the total amount applied.

For example, if your sprayer is calibrated at 30 GPA and you have sprayed out 300 gallons, this means you have sprayed 10 acres (See Item #4 above). If the pesticide rate you used was 1 pint per acre then you have applied 10 pints of concentrated pesticide per 300 gallons of solution (10 acres sprayed x 1 pint per acre).

If you are using a backpack sprayer you may have to do a little more math. You will also need to know some common conversions such as there are 32 ounces in a quart, etc. Suppose you have treated 0.0625 acres with 5 gallons of solution in your backpack. The rate you are using is 1 quart per acre. This means that the amount of concentrated pesticide you have applied per 5 gallons of solution is 0.0625 quarts (0.0625 acres x 1 quart per acre) or 2 ounces (0.0625 quarts x 32 ounces/quart).

Occasionally, you will need to convert from pounds of pesticide active ingredient (a.i.) per acre to actual gallons or pounds of the formulation. You will first need to determine either (1) how many pounds of active ingredient are contained in one gallon of the pesticide formulation, or (2) the percentage of active ingredient contained in one pound of the pesticide formulation. This is found on the pesticide label under the "ingredients statement."

You will then need to know the rate of active ingredient that was applied per acre.

Example 1. A pesticide label mandates that you apply no more than 1 pound of active ingredient per acre per season.  The pesticide you are using contains 4 pounds of active ingredient per gallon of the liquid formulation. How many gallons of formulation contains 0.25 pounds of the active ingredient.

                            Gallons of formulation = 

    Pounds of active ingredient per acre    
  Pounds of active ingredient per gallon

                    0.25 Gallons of formulation = 

    1 pound of active ingredient per acre    
 4 pounds of active ingredient per gallon

Note: 0.25 gallons is also equal to 1 quart (4 quarts in a gallon)


Example 2. A pesticide label mandates that you apply no more than 4 pounds of active ingredient per acre per season. The pesticide you are using contains 50% active ingredient per pound of the dry formulation. How many pounds of the actual formulation contains 4 pounds of active ingredient.

                      Pounds of dry formulation = 

   pounds of active ingredient per acre   
    % of active ingredient per gallon

                       8 pounds of formulation = 

  4 pounds of active ingredient per acre  
 50%(0.50) active ingredient per gallon

7.  The brand or product name of the restricted use pesticide and its EPA registration number.  (Federal law does not require you record general use pesticide applications -- only restricted use pesticides.)

8.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Registration Number found on the label. The registration number is not the same as the EPA Establishment Number that is also located on the label and tells where the pesticide was manufactured.

 Spot Treatments/Spot Applications/Spot Sprayingpasture

Once you understand basic calibration and mixing procedures it is easy to record a broadcast application of a pesticide. For example: You are broadcast spraying a field for weeds. In other words you are spraying the entire 20 acres, usually because the field is totally infested with weeds. Suppose your sprayer is calibrated to apply 20 GPA (Gallons Per Acre) and you used 400 gallons of an herbicide/water mixture at a rate of 1 pint per acre. It is so easy to determine that you sprayed 20 acres (400 gallons/20 GPA = 20 acres). If you mixed properly then you used 20 pints of undiluted product (20 acres x 1 pint per acre = 20 pints).

On the other hand spot spraying (spot treatments or spot application) involves a little more understanding of what is a spot treatment!

If you apply restricted- use pesticides (RUP) on the same day in a total area of less than one-tenth of an acre (0.10 acres), you are making a spot treatment. The 0.10 acres that is referred to is the acreage of weeds that have actually sprayed. So.... you may have sprayed 0.10 acres of weeds that are spread out across 20 acres. Again, it is a simple procedure. It is really easy when you are using a backpack sprayer as opposed to using a spray gun that is attached to the end of a hose. This is because the backpack spray holds a relatively small amount of liquid of 2 to 5 gallons. If you are using a spray gun that is attached to a hose then you may want to invest in a flowmeter. This will help you record how much of a pesticide/water mixture you have sprayed out! 

Here's how to do it - refer to step 4 above and use the same formula.
Acres sprayed =       Gallons used          
Sprayer output in GPA
You already know your acre limitation... 1/10th of an acre! (0.10 acres)
0.10 acres =    Gallons    
At this point you need to know how many gallons per acre (GPA) your sprayer applies. For this example, we will say that you have calibrated your sprayer to apply 50 GPA.
0.10 acres =     5 Gallons     
     50 GPA

Now by simply cross-multiplying we see that when we have applied 5 gallons, we have sprayed 0.10 acres (0.10 acres x 50 GPA). This could either be a full 5-gallon backpack or when the flowmeter reads "5 gallons."

You then need to stop and record the following information:

  • Name and Applicator ID number 
  • brand/product name, EPA registration number
  •  total amount applied
  •  month, day, year of the application
  •  Identification of the application as a spot application and a general description of the location (for example, "treated leafy spurge in the lower creek pastures") along with the words "spot application." or “Spot Treatment - Pasture A."

 This spot application provision excludes greenhouse and nursery applications which are required to keep all of the data elements.

Regulatory Changes

The federal pesticide record keeping regulations were amended in 1995.  The changes include:

  • Number of days to complete record.  Private applicators must complete the record for an application within 14 days following the application.
  • Spot application data requirements.  Instead of recording "spot application" to indicate the location of a treatment over less than one-tenth of an acre, applicators must record the words "spot application" along with a general description of the location.
  • Health care professional access to records.  The record information must be accessible if an emergency occurs requiring immediate medical treatment or first aid for a possible pesticide poisoning or exposure.  Only the attending licensed health care professional or someone working under that professional's supervision can request the record information.
  • Penalties clarified.  Any certified applicator who violates the recordkeeping requirements can be fined a civil penalty of not more than $500 for a first offense.  For subsequent offenses, the applicator can be fined a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 per violation except the amount can be reduced if it is determined that the applicator made a good faith effort to comply.