Ag News & Events

List of Upcoming Events and Products

  • Conifer Tree Seedling Program 2022:  All seedlings are now sold out.
  • Hemp Fiber Mats for purchase. Weeds rob tree seedlings of moisture, nutrients and sunlight therefore new plantings may benefit from this form of vegetation management. Available in 12- or 18-inch squares for $0.57 and $1.42, respectively (+GST). Place an order with your 2022 seedling order or separately. 
  • Verbenone Repellent Pouch – to deter Mountain Pine Beetle attackLimited supply of pouches are available and sold in packages of 10 at a cost of $60.00+GST.
  • Caring for My Land funding Program: The Caring for my Land program offers 25%-75% funding – for up to $5000 - through Alberta Environment and Parks “Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program” and EPCORE. Call Clearwater County, Agriculture and Community Services at 403-846-4040 for more details
    Join the Landcare email list: Are you interested in grant programs and new funding opportunities, virtual events, workshops, webinars, and receiving educational articles or video links relating to healthy and sustainable water and land? Contact landcare@clearwatercounty.ca with your email address to be added to the list.
  • Bear and Safety Awareness Presentation: 
    • 1. June 23 @ 6:00pm, Nordegg Community Centre 
    • 2. June 29 @ 6:00pm, The Subway Room at the Rocky Regional Centre Recreation Centre 
    • 3. July 6 @ 6:00pm, Caroline HUB/Kurt Browning Arena, Caroline. Link to register for the Nordegg event: EventBrite , another link for following events to come.



Most Recent Ag News Article

June 29, 2022 -  Off-Label Herbicide Use Can Have Profound Negative Impacts

All herbicides are not created equal.

It can be tempting. That jug of herbicide has been sitting on a back shelf gathering dust for years. Surely it will work just as well as anything else on those annoyingly persistent weeds. Can there really be much difference between most products anyway?

The reality is that there is a world of difference in the chemistry used in herbicide formulations and their concentrations with serious ramifications as a result of misuse. 

Moreover, failure to follow label instructions is against the law. The label on the container and the accompanying booklet are Federal legal documents.

Off-label pesticide use refers to a situation where a chemical is applied in a manner that is not specified on the chemical’s product label, such as when it is used for a different pest, at a different rate, or in a manner that is not listed. 

Saving money through off-label herbicide use could cost even bigger dollars in the long term. It is not just about the legislated requirements, or the money involved.

Misuse of herbicides can have extensive environmental consequences that may lead to the death of fish, bird and honeybee populations and/or contaminate wells and groundwater.

A well-intentioned farm friend may offer herbicide designed for in-crop use as an alternative to locally available products designed for yard and garden applications. Applying agricultural or industrial pesticides in an urban setting can have drastic consequences as run-off flows through storm systems directly into local rivers. 

When used agriculturally inappropriate off-label use can mean the loss of an expensive crop or reduced yields for the season and into the future. In some cases, the harvested crop may even be embargoed.

Off-label pesticide use is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved with potential risks to public health and the environment that can exceed monetary value. herbicide label directions are based on considerable scientific testing and rigorous evaluation by the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA).

PMRA testing is done to ensure that products can be used without harm to workers, consumers and the environment. If used improperly they can jeopardize the agricultural producer’s ability to guarantee safe food for domestic and foreign purchasers.

An added risk is that misuse on the part of farmers may increase public concern about chemical use, creating a distrust that undermines the credibility of all pesticide and food safety regulatory programs in Canada.

Before using any chemical, users should always read and familiarize themselves with the entire label and obtain a copy of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Both provide useful information about the chemical product, its contents, health hazards, safe use and handling instructions, personal protective equipment and first aid. SDS information is provided free of charge on chemical retailers or manufacturers web sites.

Without adequate knowledge of the chemical properties of a specific product, it is virtually impossible to determine whether there is a lasting residual effect, what ability the chemical has to move through the soil (leaching/translocation) or how long it will take for the herbicide to break down.

Millions of pesticide applications are made each year to literally millions of acres without negative side effects by farmers, commercial applicators and consumers, while the number of off-label applications are minuscule in comparison. 

Successful self-policing has been the rule of thumb for decades. Should off-label use create increased negative ramifications, then public pressure could bring about more stringent regulations and curtail everyone’s ability to control invasive pests. 

Our food supply, human health and the well-being of our living environment suffer as a result of inappropriate off-label use. Responsible use just makes sense given the potential negative impacts.

For more advice on herbicides and their appropriate use, to purchase chemical or to rent application equipment, give us a call at Clearwater County Agriculture and Community Services @ 403-846-4040.