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Student Handbook for Agro-chemicals

PP21: Agro-chemicals and Weed


Dr. Jamba Gyeltshen

Sr. Lecturer & Dean of Student Affairs
College of Natural Resources, Lobesa
October 2008


This course handbook on Agro-chemicals is for students who follow a course module on
Agro-chemicals. It contains information related to all practical aspects of pesticides
application including understanding of pesticide label, preparation of spray, operation and
maintenance of spray equipment, safe handling and disposal of pesticides, and pesticide

The content has been largely drawn and adapted from a manual put together by G.G.M.
Schulten, a consultant fielded by the NPPC during the Integrated Pest Management
Development Project in December 1999. Educational websites have also been used and
indicated in the footnotes. I have made few modifications to suit the purpose of this
handbook and mainly arranged the topics into a structure convenient for students.

1. THE USE OF PESTICIDES IN BHUTAN.........................................................................1
2. CLASSIFICATION OF PESTICIDES...............................................................................5
3. PESTICIDE FORMULATION.........................................................................................10
4. PESTICIDES LABELS......................................................................................................16
5. PESTICIDE TOXICITY....................................................................................................21
6. SAFETY PRECAUTIONS.................................................................................................25
8. SPRAY EQUIPMENT AND MAINTENANCE...............................................................43
9. THE USE AND MAINTENANCE OF SPRAYERS........................................................51
10. CALIBRATING HAND-OPERATED SPRAYERS......................................................55
11. MEASURING PESTICIDES...........................................................................................59
12. CALCULATIONS OF PESTICIDE................................................................................63
13. APPLICATION OF PESTICIDES..................................................................................65
14. PESTICIDE PROFILES..................................................................................................70


Until 1989 all types of pesticides irrespective of their toxicity and persistence, were used in
Bhutan. From 1990, government restricted import of highly toxic and persistent pesticides and
prohibited private imports. The pesticide subsidy was reduced stepwise from 100% to 0% by
Uncontrolled imports and free supply of pesticides in the past led overuse of often very toxic
insecticides and an accumulation of obsolete pesticides. In 1995 a total of 66 tons of obsolete
pesticides was collected including around 13 tons of fungicides, 23 tons of herbicides and 30
tons of insecticides. These pesticides were re-packed and disposed off at a huge cost.
Since 1984 the pattern of pesticide changed considerably as shown in Figure 1. There was a
strong decrease in the use of insecticides and fungicides while the use of herbicides increased.
The likely explanation for this change is that when pesticides were fully subsidised there was
a general overuse. When subsidies were phased out gradually, the demands decreased.
Herbicides, however, were never subsidized. Now farmers have to pay the full price, they buy
only pesticides that give a good return on their investment. Labour shortage and cost of labour
apparently stimulate the use of herbicides.

Fig. 1. Pesticide inputs in Bhutan (active ingredients) 1984/85 to 1998/99. Please note that
up to 1989/90 farmers bought herbicides directly from the suppliers. Actual herbicide
inputs up to 1989/90 are therefore higher than presented. Herbicides have never been

Pesticide procurement and supply in Bhutan

NPPC is entrusted with the responsibility of procuring and supplying pesticides. In the past,
DAOs were carrying out the task. As a result, all types of pesticides irrespective of their
nature of persistence, toxicity to humans, natural fauna and aquatic life were procured and
Past system of procurement and supply
Extension agents submitted demands to DAOs on adhoc basis. DAOs compiled and sent it to
Plant Protection Centre. Compilation of indent from all Dzongkhags and institutions were
done at the PP centre. Quotation was called for various pesticides and consequently they were
supplied as per the indent.
1. No proper record keeping as to where all the pesticides had been used.
2. Misuse or abuse of pesticides due to free-of-cost supply.
3. Accumulation of outdated pesticides.
4. Many highly toxic and persistent chemicals were procured.
5. Most of the pesticides remained in stores at Dzongkhag Head quarters without being used
where they were necessary.
Out of the various chemicals procured and used in the country, the following chemicals, for
their toxic nature and other unfavourable properties have been stopped for use.
1. Aldrin
2. Aluminium Phosphide
3. BHC
4. Captafol
5. Carbofuran
6. Ekalux
7. Agallol
8. Methyl Parathion
9. Red Lead
10. Thimet
11. Temik

Present system of procurement and supply

Extension Agents collect a rational demand from farmers and put it up to the DAO. DAOs
forward the demand after careful scrutiny keeping in view the pricing policy and cash-andcarry system.
Demands are compiled at the NPPC. Quotations are called from dealers of manufacturing
companies in India, through advertisement in Kuensel ensuring fair participation and stiff
competition. Freshly prepared materials of appropriate pack size are procured and supplied.
Most of the pesticides except herbicides are distributed from NPPC store to Dzongkhag Head
Quarter for the quantity for which the amount was paid in advance. However, under certain
situations supplies are made on credit.
Herbicides like Butachlor, Sencor, NC311, Mogeton, Sanbird are sold through the Commision
1. No accumulation of waste
2. Fresh stock available
3. Quantity supplied went down
4. No misuse as subsidy has been removed
5. Less environmental pollution
6. Low risk to applicator
7. Chemical is cheaper.
8. No outstanding with Dzongkhags
9. Suitable pack size for small holders.
Sometimes due to financial implications, Extension agents do not put up the indent for
pesticides. As a result, when pest outbreak occurs, crop is already damaged before the
chemical reaches from NPPC. Limited choice of chemicals as the range has been narrowed
down.(e.g. soil insecticides).
Changes: With the introduction of the pricing policy since 1990, demand seems to have
drastically reduced for all pesticides except herbicides. The demand for herbicides,
especially Butachlor, has gone up tremendously.
Sustainability: NPPC has a revolving fund of Nu.5 million. Half of this amount is invested in
fixed deposit and the interest accrued thereby strengthens the revolving fund and make it
Limitations: For practical reasons, chemicals could be bought from India only. As a result,
many of the popularly used pesticides elsewhere are not available.
Exceptions:- Japanese herbicide through KR-II grant; Prochloraz - seed treatment chemical
for Druk Seed Corporation from Germany;Japanese fungicide for blast control.

Pesticides available in Bhutan1

Pack Size

Rate per unit

Sl. No
Chlorpyrifos 20 EC


100 ml


Cypermethrin 10 EC

100 ml


Dimethoate 30 EC

100 ml


Malathion 50 EC

100 ml


Malathion 5 D

5 kg


Fenvalerate 0.04 D

1 kg


K- Obiol 2.5 WP

1 kg


Bacillus thuringiensis

100 gm


Pack Size

Rate per unit

Sl. No
Captan 50 WP


500 gm


Carbendazim 50 WP

500 gm


Copper Oxychloride 50 WP

500 gm


Mancozeb 75 WP

500 gm


Ediphenphos 50 EC

1 lt.


Isoprothiolane (Fugi-one)

500 gm


Probenazole 8 GR (oryzernate)

Kasurabcide 71.2 WP (Kasugamycin)

Pyroquilon 5 G (Coratop)

3 kg



Tridemorph 80 EC

100 ml



Hexaconazole 5 EC

100 ml



Blasticidin 1 EC

500 ml



Kitazin 48 EC

500 ml



Copper Sulphate

500 gm



Ridomil 72 WP

100 gm



Calcium Hydroxide

500 gm



Carboxin 75 WP

25 kg




100 gm


Pack Size

Rate per unit

3 kg


500 gm


Sl. No


Glyphosate 41 EC

1 lt.


Oxyflourfen 23.5 EC

1 lt.


Metribuzin 70 WP

100 gm


Pack Size

Rate per unit

10 gm


Pack Size

Rate per unit

1 lt.


Sl. No

Zinc Phosphide 80W/W

Sl. No

Danitol 1 EC


From the website of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Pack Size

Rate per unit

Sl. No
Sandovit (sticker)


1 lt.


Linseed oil

2 lt.


Tree spray oil (TSO)

210 lt.


Protein hydrolysate

100 gm


Pesticide is a general term used for any substance or mixture of substances intended for
preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating pests including insect, rodents, fungi, bacteria,
nematodes and weeds. Also included under pesticides are compounds used as repellents,
attractants, anti-feedants etc. In legal terminology pesticide may be defined as any substance
used for controlling, preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.
1. Classification of pesticides based on type of pests controlled

Control algae in lakes, canals, swimming pools, water tanks,

and other sites.


Kill microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses).


Attract pests (for example, to lure an insect or rodent to a trap).

(However, food is not considered a pesticide when used as an


Biopesticides are certain types of pesticides derived from such

natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain


Kill microorganisms.


Kill fungi (including blights, mildews, molds, and rusts).


Produce gas or vapor intended to destroy pests in buildings or

Kill weeds and other plants that grow where they are not


Kill insects and other arthropods.

Miticides (also called acaricides) Kill mites that feed on plants and animals.
Microbial pesticides

Microorganisms that kill, inhibit, or out compete pests,

including insects or other microorganisms.


Kill snails and slugs.


Kill nematodes (microscopic, worm-like organisms that feed on

plant roots).


Kill eggs of insects and mites.


Biochemicals used to disrupt the mating behavior of insects.



Repel pests, including insects (such as mosquitoes) and birds.


Control mice and other rodents.

The term pesticide also includes these substances:

Insect growth regulators

Cause leaves or other foliage to drop from a plant, usually to

facilitate harvest.
Promote drying of living tissues, such as unwanted plant tops.
Disrupt the molting, maturity from pupal stage to adult, or other
life processes of insects.

Plant growth regulators

Substances (excluding fertilizers or other plant nutrients) that

alter the expected growth, flowering, or reproduction rate of
Reference: Dr. Larry D. Schulze, Extension Pesticide Coordinator, Master Gardener Inservice
Training,Cooperative Extension; University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA.
( accessed on
Biopesticides are certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as animals,
plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. For example, neem oil and baking soda have pesticidal
applications and are considered biopesticides. With increasing awareness and health concerns,
more and more biopesticide products are getting into the market. Biopesticides fall into three
major classes:
(1) Microbial pesticides consist of a microorganism (e.g., a bacterium, fungus, virus or
protozoan) as the active ingredient. Microbial pesticides can control many different kinds of
pests, although each separate active ingredient is relatively specific for its target pest[s]. For
example, there are fungi that control certain weeds, and other fungi that kill specific insects.
The most widely used microbial pesticides are subspecies and strains of Bacillus
thuringiensis, or Bt. Each strain of this bacterium produces a different mix of proteins, and
specifically kills one or a few related species of insect larvae. While some Bt's control moth
larvae found on plants, other Bt's are specific for larvae of flies and mosquitoes. The target

Master Gardener Inservice Training

Cooperative Extension; University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Larry D. Schulze, Extension Pesticide Coordinator
( accessed on

insect species are determined by whether the particular Bt produces a protein that can bind to
a larval gut receptor, thereby causing the insect larvae to starve
(2) Plant-Incorporated-Protectants (PIPs) are pesticidal substances that plants produce
from genetic material that has been added to the plant. For example, scientists can take the
gene for the Bt pesticidal protein, and introduce the gene into the plant's own genetic material.
Then the plant, instead of the Bt bacterium, manufactures the substance that destroys the pest.
The protein and its genetic material, but not the plant itself, are regulated by EPA.
(3) Biochemical pesticides are naturally occurring substances that control pests by non-toxic
mechanisms. Conventional pesticides, by contrast, are generally synthetic materials that
directly kill or inactivate the pest. Biochemical pesticides include substances, such as insect
sex pheromones that interfere with mating as well as various scented plant extracts that attract
insect pests to traps. Because it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a substance meets
the criteria for classification as a biochemical pesticide, EPA has established a special
committee to make such decisions.
2. Classification of pesticide based on mode of action
Contact poisons
As the name implies, the pesticide will have its effect only on contact with the target pest.
Therefore it must be applied in such a way and at such a time as to ensure a direct contact.
Larval stages are especially vulnerable to contact poisons.
eg. Malathion, Cypermethrin (also a stomach poison), Dimethoate (also systemic),
Chlorpyrifos (also stomach poison and has vapour action)
Systemic insecticides
Systemic insecticides are highly water soluble and as a result they are easily absorbed by
growing plants through the roots, stem or leaves. Once absorbed into the plant, they are then
translocated to untreated parts through the vascular system thereby making the whole plant
poisonous. Systemic insecticides are particularly effective against sucking, boring and mining
insects. Aphids, bugs, plant hoppers, scale insects, thrips, mites, borers and leaf miners can be
better managed with systemic insecticides. Example: Dimethoate.
Stomach poisons
Stomach poisons generally enter a pests body through the mouth during feeding (ingestion)
and are absorbed through the digestive tract.
The fumes or vapour given off by the insecticide usually gain entrance via the breathing
mechanism of the insect, and frequently affect the nervous system. Fumigants are not usually
used on growing crops, but are used for soil treatments, and in grain stores.


Suffocating materials
These materials are usually oils that clog the respiratory mechanism of pests, eg. Tree Spray
Oil (TSO) used to control scale insects.
3. Classification of pesticides based on chemical nature
Most modern insecticides fall into one of four chemical types, i.e. organochlorine,
organophosphate, carbamate, or synthetic pyrethroid.
Organochlorine compounds
DDT, Dieldrin, Aldrin, and BHC belong to this group. The use of mentioned insecticides has
been banned in most countries because of their long persistence in the environment and the
accumulation of their residues in the fatty tissue of man and other vertebrates. Some
organochlorines have been shown to cause cancer in test animals, as well for being associated
with other health problems. The acaricide Dicofol that belongs to this group is currently
recommended in Bhutan for the control of mite pests. Its persistence is limited.
Organophosphorous compounds
Organophosphates can kill by contact, systemic or fumigant action or a combination of the
three. They affect the nervous system by disrupting an enzyme that regulates acetylcholine, a
neurotransmitter. Being a nerve poison they can cause acute toxic reactions in humans.
Although very efficient, they are not usually so persistent as the organochlorines. Some
compounds, like Dimethoate have a systemic action in plants. Organophosphorous
insecticides presently used in Bhutan are Chlorpyriphos, Dimethoate and Malathion. Certain
fungicides such as Edifenphos also belong to this group.
These are insecticides that affect the nervous system by disrupting an enzyme that regulates
acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. They do not persist in the environment or in the fatty tissue
of animals. Some such as carbofuran are persistent, systemic pesticides with high toxicity.
Synthetic pyrethroids
Pyrethroids were developed as a synthetic version of the naturally occuring pyrethrins found
in Chrysanthemums. They have been modified to increase their stability in the environment
and possess quick knock-down effect but less toxic to mammals. Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin
and Fenvalerate are synthetic pyrethroids used in Bhutan to control a number of insect pests.
Contact fungicides
These compounds have a low acute toxicity to man, other vertebrates and insects. Widely
used in Bhutan are Captan and Mancozeb.


Systemic fungicides
Certain fungicides have a systemic action and are used to control a broad spectrum of fungal
diseases, for example Carbendazim , Hexaconazole and Tridemorph; others are used to
control a specific disease such as rice blast, for example, Isoprothiolane, Probenazole,
Pyroquilon and Tricyclazole.
Metallic compounds
Copper oxy-chloride is an inorganic copper compound used as a contact fungicide.
These are chemical substances, produced by microorganisms that have a fungicidal or
bactericidal activity. Blastidicin and Kasugamycin are such antibiotics, temporary used in
Bhutan to control rice blast.
Herbicides include components from different chemical groups. Most are relatively non-toxic
to humans, but herbicides like Paraquat and Diquat are very toxic when ingested. Their use is
not allowed in Bhutan. Herbicides such as Butachlor, Metribuzin, Oxyfluorfen, and
Pendimethalin control weeds by contact while Glyphosate has a systemic action.
Non-toxic compounds
Certain oils such as TSO (Tree Spray Oil) can be used as an insecticide or acaricide. The oil
penetrates the body of the insect or mite and kills it. These oils are used as winter sprays
because of phytotoxicity. Sometimes a chemical like Sandovit is added to the spray mixture
to better stick the spray solution to the leaves.
Pests like Sanjose scale, Helment scale and Red spider mites are controlled by spraying TSO
and it also have some control over Woolly aphids.
Sandovit is used against small sucker and sooty moulds as control measures along with
insecticides. If ants are found associated with helmet scale, sandovit with chlorpyrifos and
water is used to get rid of ants.
Linseed oil is used as paste over the wounded parts of the trees.


Pesticides are rarely applied in their pure form because it would not be safe, convenient or
economic to apply them in that form. The pure form needs to be first formulated (processed)
as mixtures containing other ingredients that improve its properties of storage, handling and
application. Pesticide formulation thus refers to the processing of a toxic compound by
any method that will improve its properties of storage, handling, application,
effectiveness and safety. A formulated product simply means something that is processed and
ready for use. For example, dairy milk in its natural state is a liquid that cannot store long
without going sour but when processed and formulated as milk powder such as Everyday,
Amulya or Milkmaid, it can be stored for long and is convenient for use. In the simplest sense,
formulation means to put certain ingredients together (using a formula) to make a product or
commodity with enhanced value.
Why pesticides have to be formulated?
At the chemical factories, synthetic pesticides come out in various forms: large crystals,
lumps, flakes, and as viscous oils. These are known as Technical Grade material (TC) or
Active Ingredient (A.I.). And they cannot be used in this highly concentrated form. Such
products are not yet processed are considered as unformulated pesticides. These highly
concentrated materials would neither be safe nor economic or convenient for application. It is
not possible to get an even distribution essential for effective pest control. Therefore, the
technical grade materials have to be processed into usable forms, usually called formulations,
which can be distributed or sold for application. During the process of formulation the
concentrated TC or AI is diluted by blending with additives.
How pesticides are formulated?
Since unformulated pesticides or pesticides in a raw form are highly concentrated, one of the
most important steps in the formulation process is to dilute the concentrated technical
material. If not diluted, it would neither be safe for handling nor fit (stable) for storage. It
would not be convenient for spraying. Dilution of technical material to produce a formulated
pesticide can be accomplished in several ways. Generally a formulated product has the
following ingredients:
Technical grade material (TC) or active ingredient (AI)
Surface active agents
Special additives
Active ingredient /Technical grade material

The TC or the active ingredient (AI) is the actual toxic component and therefore the most
important ingredient in a formulation.



The term carrier is generally used to denote the inert solid ingredients used to dilute the
technical material, usually in dry formulations such as dusts, dispersible powders and
granules. A typical carrier is pyrophyllite, an inert clay.

Solvents are liquid media in which the TC or AI are dissolved. The solvents may be miscible
or immiscible with water (milk is miscible with water whereas diesel oil is not). Those
solvents not miscible with water will require addition of another component known as the
emulsifier or the surfactant.
Surface active agents (surfactants)
These are agents that reduce the surface tension and increase the wetting power of water.
Soaps or detergents have these properties. The emulsifying agents or emulsifiers, wetting
agents or wetters, dispersing agents or dispersants, foaming agents and spreading agents all
belong to the group of surface active agents.
A solution of surface-active agents in water differs from pure water in several ways. It firstly
lowers the surface tension, enhances wetting power and dispersing properties.
How surface tension is lowered?

Surface-active agents have a characteristic structure which gives them unique properties.
Their chain-like molecules have a part which is attracted to water (hydrophilic) and is water
soluble; they also have a part that repulses water (hydrophobic) but is soluble only in organic
solvents. In a watery solution, these molecules collect at the surface while pushing their
hydrophobic tail-portion out of the water into the air. If the surfactant concentration is high,
these molecules will cover the entire surface and lower the surface tension. Increasing the
surface area of such a solution is much easier than increasing that of pure water. In other
words its surface tension is much lowered.






The portion of the surfactant molecule that does not like (hydrophobic) water
forces itself to the surface of a water solution thereby changing the
characteristics of the surface.

How the wetting power is enhanced?

The hydrophobic tails at the surface of the solution are the hydrocarbon groups in the
surfactant molecules. Owing to their presence, the surface of the solution resembles the
surface of a hydrocarbon or oil. Because the surface of a leaf is often covered with a layer of
wax to minimize transpiration, the wetting of a waxy leaf cuticle is easier to achieve with oil
than with pure water. This is the reason why a surfactant solution, with its oil-like surface,
wets a leaf better than water does. Adding a surface-active agent to formulation thus improves
its wetting power in solution.
Reduction of surface tension and improvement of wetting power both play an important role
in while spraying chemicals. They have a profound influence on the size of the spray droplets
and on the spreading, retention and run-off of the spray liquid on the target surface.

Leaf surface
Figure: Wetting of leaf surface when wetting agents are not used

Figure: Wetting of leaf surface after wetting agent is used

How the dispersion properties are enhanced?

A third characteristic of a surfactant solution is its dispersing property, which is related to the
same phenomenon that causes the improved wetting power. Because water and oil are
immiscible, when the two are mixed by stirring and shaking, the droplets of oil quickly form a
layer on the top. When an emulsifier or a surfactant is added, the molecules of the surfactant
will collect around the droplets of oil. The hydrophobic tails of these molecules then penetrate
into the oil droplets, while their hydrophobic heads remain in the water portion of the
solution. The congregation of surfactant molecules, in the so-called interface between water
and oil cause a more-or-less stable situation in which the oil droplets remain dispersed in the

water, giving the water a milky appearance. This is called dispersion because the oil remains
as microscopic sized droplets.



Figure:Drawing of oil droplet in a surfactant solution

Special additives
These additives are used in a formulation or added separately into spray tank while preparing
to spray.
Examples: stabilisers used to prevent the deactivation of a.i.; synergists increases pesticide
activity; wetters to increase wetting power; oils to reduce evaporation loss, to reduce wash
off; assist penetration; defoamers to prevent excessive foaming; thickeners prevent
formation of small droplets and therefore reduce evaporation and enhances viscocity, prevents
runoff; colouring agents reduce the possibility of accidents.
Pesticide formulation codes

The considerable increase in the worldwide manufacture of pesticide called for a harmonized
(uniform) system for the designation of formulation. In 1978, a world-wide coding system
was prepared under the co-ordination of the International Association of Pesticide
Manufacturers (GIFAP); the system was last revised in 1989. The coding system consists of
2 letters for each formulation type:
Group 1: Concentrates for dilution with water
EC Emulsifiable Concentrate
SL - Soluble Concentrate
SC Suspendable concentrate
SP - Soluble Powder
WP - Wettable Powder

WG/SG Water dispersible Granules/Soluble Granules

Group 2: Formulations to be applied undiluted
GR Granules
DP Dustable Powder (dusts)
UL Ultra low volume (ULV) liquid
Group 3: Miscellaneous formulations for special purpose
RB Ready to use Bait
Definition of terms: Dispersion, emulsion, solution, suspension
If we add oil into water, they do not mix well but instead form two separate layers. The oil
which is light forms the upper layer. Such liquids are said to be immiscible liquids. On the
other hand, when two liquids mix well (e.g. alcohol and water) they are said to be miscible.
The molecules of the two liquids are well dispersed (spread out or scattered) and forms a
stable situation and such a mixture of well dispersed liquid is known as dispersion. The
dispersion of liquid in a liquid (e.g. oil-in-water) is called emulsion. Fine globules of an
organic solvent containing the technical ingredient are dispersed in water.
In a solution, no separate droplets can be formed because the dissolving process is complete at
the molecular level.
A suspension is the dispersion of a wettable powder (WP) or a water-dispersible powder in a
EC Emulsifiable Concentrate
An emulsifiable concentrate is a solution of an active ingredient in a non-water miscible
solvent. It contains an emulsifier to help the concentrate mix with water upon slight agitation
and form an emulsion. It contains usually 15 to 50 percent of active ingredient that has to be
diluted with water to form a solution in a spray tank.
WP- Wettable Powder
This type of formulation is also termed water dispersible powder, and is applied as a
suspension after its dispersion in water. A wettable powder is a mixture of the active
ingredient with powders and certain chemicals to improve its solution in water. Wettable
powders are essentially dusts containing 25 to 50 percent of active ingredient and certain
other chemicals, which have to be diluted in water to form a solution for spraying.
GR- Granules
Granules are defined as free flowing, ready-to-use, solid product of a defined granule size.
Granular formulations are usually made by spraying a liquid concentrate of the technical
grade material onto small pellets of some absorptive material. Uniform chips of broken bricks
and coarse grains of sand are commonly used.
This type of formulation can be used without application equipment and virtually any time of
the day, since they can be applied even in strong winds without the problem of drift. They can
also be drilled into the soil at planting time to protect roots against insects or to improve
uptake of a systemic pesticide by the roots.

A disadvantage of the granular formulation is the high cost of manufacturing, handling,

storing and transporting materials of low concentration.
DP- Dustable Powder
This type of formulation is a ready-to-use, free-flowing powder, generally with a low
concentration of active ingredient, and suitable for dusting. Dustable powders are prepared by
mixing and grinding the technical grade material together with an inert diluent such as
pyrophyllite clay. If the technical grade material is a liquid, it has to be absorbed by the
diluent before mixing and grinding.
Ready-to-use baits (RB)
Baits are formulations designed to attract and to be eaten by the target pest. They consist of a
mixture of food, attractive to the pest, and a pesticide. The concentration of active ingredients
in these baits is less than 5 per cent. They are used to control rats and mice. Ready-to-use bait
that is available in Bhutan contains Bromadialone as rodenticide. Zinc phosphide is also used
in baits to control rats and mice. This rodenticide is however, not available as a ready-to-use
bait but farmers have to prepare the bait themselves and mix the rodenticide with it.
Special baits
A form of baiting used in Bhutan involves the addition of protein hydrolysate or Diammonium phosphate that attracts the Chinese Citrus Fly, a major pest of mandarins, to a
spray solution of Malathion or Chlorpyrifos. The use of this bait makes it possible to treat
only a small part of the tree to achieve effective fly control instead of treating the entire tree
with a cover spray.


Pesticides provide many benefits and improve the quality of life when they are used carefully
and properly. But when handled in a careless manner they can endanger the health of the
applicator, other people, animals, plants, or the environment.
The pesticide label provides valuable information about proper handling and use of the
pesticide, potential risks the pesticide may pose, and instructions on how to minimize or avoid
those risks. Every pesticide applicator has the responsibility to read and follow the label
information so no harm will result from misuse or mishandling of pesticides.
The pesticide label should be read at several critical times to make sure the expected benefits
are realized and harm is prevented.
By law, certain kinds of information must appear on a pesticide label. Pesticide applicators
have the legal responsibility to read, understand and follow the label directions. Pesticide
labels will usually contain the following sections:
Pesticide label
The label is the most important source of information on the pesticide. It is a legal document
that must contain legally specified information. Every pesticide product label should contain
the following types of information if the product is meant for use on crops.
1. Product name/Trade name/Brand name
2. Type of pest controlled
3. Type of formulation
4. Ingredient statement
5. Net contents of the package
6. Name and address of the manufacturer, distributor or formulator
7. Registration or license number
8. Warning or signal words
9. Precautionary statements
a) Hazards to humans and domestic animals
b) Environmental hazards
c) Physical and chemical hazards
10. Statement of practical first aid treatment
11. Use areas/Directions for use
12. Re-entry statement
13. Warranty statement/Expiry dates
14. Storage and disposal directions

North Dakota State University Agriculture and University Extension,


1. Product name:
Every pesticide has a product name. Two types of names are given:
a) trade name
b) common/chemical name.
a) Trade name is the most easily identified name on the label. It is the name usually
used for advertisements. Each company has trade names or brand names for its
products and when different manufacturing companies are involved in producing
the same pesticide, they will sell them under different trade names although the
active ingredient may be the same.
b) Many pesticides have difficult chemical names and therefore some have been
given a common name. e.g. the chemical name 0.0-diethyl 0-4-nitrophenyl
phophoriate is given a common name Parathion.
Examples of some product names include Punch, Roundup, Bavistin.


2. Type of pesticide:
The label must indicate what type of pesticide the product is or what types of pests it will
control. E.g. Fungicide, Insecticide, herbicide, rodenticide etc.
3. Type of formulation:
Whether it is liquid (EC), solid (WP, Dust, GR), fumigant etc.
4. Ingredient statement:
Each pesticide label must include the active and inert ingredients in the product. The list is
written to show what the active ingredients are and the amount of each ingredient listed. The
ingredient statement must list the official chemical names and/or common names for the
active ingredients. Inert ingredients need not be named, but the label must show what percent
of the total contents they comprise.
Check the active ingredients when comparing pesticides. Many different pesticides will
contain the same active ingredient. By purchasing pesticides according to the common or
chemical name you will be sure you are getting the right active ingredient no matter what the
trade name or formulation is. When comparing two different products with the same active
ingredient, be sure to compare the amount of active ingredient in each product. Often products
will contain the same active ingredient, but in different concentrations. Make comparisons
based on use rates that contain the same amount of active ingredient.
5. Net contents:
The net contents statement on the front panel of the pesticide label will tell you how much
product is in the container.
6. Name and address of the manufacturer of the pesticide.
7. Registration number/License number:
8. Warning or Signal words:
The keep out of reach of children warning statement is required to be on all pesticide
containers. Many accidental poisonings and personal tragedies could be prevented by
observing this precaution.
The signal word indicates approximately how toxic the pesticide product is. Products that are
highly toxic must display on the label the signal words DANGER-POISON along with a skull
and crossbones symbol. Products that display only the signal word DANGER are corrosive
and can cause irreversible eye damage or severe skin injury. Products that display the signal
word WARNING are moderately toxic or can cause moderate eye or skin irritation. Products
that display the signal word CAUTION are slightly toxic or may cause slight eye or skin

9. Precautionary statements:
Precautionary statements identify potential hazards and recommend ways that the risks can be
minimized or avoided. Types of precautionary statements include "Hazards to Humans and
Domestic Animals," "Environmental Hazards," and "Physical or Chemical Hazards."
a) Hazards to humans and domestic animals:
The signal word is listed, followed by statements indicating which route(s) of entry (mouth,
skin, lungs, eyes) are most likely to be harmful and must be particularly protected against.
The label will then provide specific actions that can prevent overexposure to the pesticide.
Protective clothing and equipment required to handle or apply the pesticide will be listed
under the heading "Hazards to Humans and Domestic Animals."
b) Environmental hazards:
The environmental hazards section of the label warns of pesticide risks to wildlife, birds, fish,
bees or to the environment and provides practical ways to avoid harm to organisms or the
c) Physical or chemical hazards:
The physical or chemical hazards section of the label will tell you of any special fire,
explosion, or chemical hazards the product may pose.
10. Statement of practical first aid treatment and Note to physicians:
The statement of practical treatment lists the first aid treatment that should be administered to
someone accidently exposed to the pesticide.
The note to physicians provides emergency medical personnel with poison treatment
information, antidotes, and often provides an emergency phone number to contact for further
11. Directions for use and use areas:
The directions for use section of the pesticide label begins with the statement, "It is a violation
of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling."
Correct application of a pesticide product is accomplished by following the use instructions
found on the label. The use instructions will tell you the pests which the manufacturer claims
the product will control, the crop, animal, or site the product is intended to protect, when,
where, how, and in what form the product should be applied, the proper equipment to be used,
the correct dosage, mixing directions, compatibility with other often-used products, minimum
time between the application and entry into the treated area for unprotected persons, and
possible plant injury problems.


Labels for pesticides used on food plants will often list the days-to-harvest or preharvest
interval (PHI), which is the minimum number of days between the last pesticide application
and crop harvest. The pesticide is degraded during PHI so that pesticide residues, if present,
will be at levels below tolerances established by EPA.

12. Re-entry statements

When one can enter the sprayed area i.e. after how long?
13. Warranty statements/ Date of expiry:
14. Storage and disposal:
All pesticide labels contain general instructions for the appropriate storage and disposal of the
pesticide and its container.


Pesticides are not only toxic to pests but they are also toxic or hazardous to man, his livestock and the environment. Toxicity refers to the inherent toxicity of a compound to different
forms of life. Hazard refers to the risk or danger of poisoning or environmental
contamination when a pesticide is used.
The potential extent of poisoning depends on:

The toxicity of the pesticide.

The dose of the pesticide, in particular its concentration.
The route of entry or absorption by the body.
The duration of the exposure.

Measurement of toxicity
Toxicity is normally measured by response to a single dose of pesticides entering the body of
a test animal, usually a rat or rabbit. The units of measurement are milligrams of active
ingredient of pesticides per kilogram of body weight. The relative toxicity of a pesticide is
recorded as the Lethal Dose (LD50) value, a statistical estimate of a chemical dose that will
kill 50 per cent of the test animals under stated conditions.
As toxicity also varies with the route of absorption by the body, LD 50 values may be
determined for different routes of entry to the body. The result of pesticide testing by feeding
is referred to as the oral LD 50 for a specific test animal. Pesticides may also be tested by
applying them on other parts of the body of the test animal.
Because pesticides are selective in their action, reactions to them vary among different species
of animals. Nevertheless, so long as the values are not considered absolute, LD50 values are a
useful and internationally accepted way of classifying pesticides according to toxicity. In this
context it is assumed that humans are at least as sensitive to pesticides as the most sensitive
test animals.
LD50 values and other factors are commonly used to classify pesticides as to the hazard that a
particular pesticide presents to the user. Worldwide some different systems are in use showing
however great similarity. The classification used by the World Health Organization is given in
Table 1. This classification is followed by many countries, including Bhutan and also provides
guidance on the labelling of pesticide formulations.


Table 1. The WHO Hazard Classification of Pesticides and Related Coding

Acute LD50 (rat) - mg/kg body weight




pantone red

Skull &
Crossbones 5 or less



pantone red

Skull &














Blue/ green
pantone blue
Blue and green color need to be differentiated for next lesson

10 or


It should be kept in mind, however, that the acute toxicity of a formulated pesticide is less
than that of the pure active ingredient, because the concentration of the active ingredient is
less. The WHO classification of the toxicity of the active ingredients is however an easy
reference for non-experts.


The approximate toxicity and hazard class of a formulation can be obtained from applying the
following formula:
Toxicity of formulation = LD50 of active ingredient X 100 / % of active ingredient in
the formulation
Edifenphos (Hinosan) is an organophosphorous compound used as a preventive and curative
fungicide. The acute oral toxicity of the pure compound is 150 mg/kg. (Class I B; Highly
For the Edifenphos 50% EC formulation, the oral toxicity would be:
LD50 (oral)= 150 X 100/50=300mg/kg
Thus, Edifenphos 50% EC would be classified as Class II: Moderately Hazardous. (Table I)
Besides creating hazards for man and livestock, pesticides may also endanger the
environment. One main reason that the use of DDT, Aldrin and Dieldrin became prohibited in
many countries was the long lasting damaging effect on non-target organisms, invertebrates
and vertebrates. Most insecticides are very toxic to bees and should not be used during the
flowering period. Many insecticides are also very toxic to fish and are therefore unsuitable for
use near lakes or rivers and in paddy fields where fish farming is conducted.
Pesticide residues
A pesticide residue is that fraction of a pesticide, which because of its use, found its way into
produce, soil or water and is present there either as the original pesticide or in degradation
products of the pesticide. These residues in our food are a potential danger for our health.
Experience has shown, however, that when the pesticide is used correctly and when a
minimum period between application and harvest is observed, only minimal quantities of
residue may remain that are of no danger to our health. The preparation of food and cooking
further reduce any residues that may be present.
Since agricultural produce may be exported or imported, internationally a need was felt to
regulate potential problems with pesticide residues in the traded commodities better.
Therefore the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme was launched that is being
implemented by the Joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission. More than125
countries and many international organizations follow the recommendations and procedures,
developed by this Commission.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission recommends maximum residue limits (MRLs). These
are the maximum concentrations for pesticide residues resulting from the use of pesticides
according to good agricultural practice, to be legally permitted or recognized as acceptable in
or on food, agricultural commodity, or animal feed. The concentration is expressed in
milligrams of pesticide residue per kilogram (mg/kg) of the commodity. The MRL values for
food and vegetable oils are usually very much lower than those that would be unacceptable
from a health point of view. The setting of MRL values by the Commission is a long process.
Therefore, MRL values are not always available for all the pesticides that are being used.

It would be ideal if a country could regularly monitor pesticide residues in food and
feedstuffs, agricultural commodities, soil and water. Pesticide residue analysis is however a
very specialised and complicated science, requiring highly trained and very experienced
personnel and expensive laboratory facilities. Therefore many countries, including Bhutan do
not have established residue analysis facilities but in case of need, have the analysis done
abroad in recognised laboratories.
Reduction of hazards linked with the use of pesticides
Essential for the reduction of hazards is the use of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) in the
use of pesticides. GAP is defined as the officially recommended or authorized usage of
pesticides under practical conditions at any stage of production, storage, transport, distribution
and processing of food, agricultural commodities and animal feed, bearing in mind the
variations in requirements within and between regions. It takes into account the minimum
quantities of pesticides necessary to achieve adequate control, applied correctly to leave a
residue that is the smallest practicable amount and that is toxicologically acceptable.
Officially recommended or authorized usage refers to the approved types of pesticides,
pests to be controlled, formulations, dosage rates, frequency of application and pre-harvest
intervals approved by the national authorities
The Pesticides Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan will regulate the import, distribution and sale
of pesticides in Bhutan. However, the National Plant Protection Centre (NPPC) at Semthoka
will continue the import and distribution of pesticides till then.
In ensuring the use of pesticides according to GAP, due consideration has to be given to:

Using the pesticides on a need basis only and within an Integrated Pest
Management (IPM) strategy.
Selecting the least toxic and least persistent pesticides that will effectively control
pests of economic importance.
Selecting formulations that combine maximum efficiency of the selected pesticides
with minimum risks.
Recommending only the minimum amount of pesticide required to kill a specific
pest or pest complex.
Selecting the method of application that offers optimum control with minimum
contamination of crops and the environment.
Timing of the treatment in relation to susceptible stages in the development of a
Setting up of official pre-harvest intervals. (Minimum period between pesticide
application and harvest)

Training of farmers in the correct use of pesticides and related safety procedures is essential
for hazard reduction inherent to the use of pesticides. These aspects including hazard
reduction during storage and transport of pesticides are covered in pages 18-35.

Hazard reduction when handling, applying, storing and transporting pesticides
Routes of entry of pesticides into human body:

Inhalation (breathing)

Skin (dermal absroption)

Mouth (oral ingestion)

When to take safety precautions

Preparing spray solution

Spraying the crops
Storing the chemicals
Transporting the chemicals
Disposing empty containers

a. Preparing the spray solution

= Prepare the spray on a spot away from children and domestic animals
= Read the label and its instructions carefully
b. Spraying the crops
= do not spray when it is too windy
= do not eat or drink while you are still not finished with the spraying
= do not spray without the protective gear: gloves, gumboots, mask, goggles etc.
= leftover spray should never be retained in the spray tank; they should be disposed
into a safe place
=leftover spray should be always emptied into a safe place but never be stored in food
c. Storing the chemicals
= store in a well ventilated room
= store out of reach of children (preferably under lock and key)
= do not store along with food items and in food containers
d. Transportation of pesticides
= should not transport along with food items
= leakage of containers should be checked
e. Disposal of empty containers
= empty containers should not be thrown all around, chances of being picked up by
children for playing or by illiterate farmers for storing food items
= crush the containers and dump them into deep pits or in pit latrines from where they
cannot be retrieved

For chemicals on the skin: remove the contaminated clothes and wash your skin with soap
and water.
For chemicals in the eye: Splashes of chemicals, especially concentrated in the eye can
damage the eye and also sometimes lead to poisoning. In all cases the eye must be washed
with water.
For swallowing or inhalation of chemicals: First aid measures vary; see entries under
specific chemical groups. Where vomiting is recommended, this should be caused by putting
a finger down the throat. Give water first to dilute the chemical and also enable the patient to
vomit more.
If symptoms appear: Always seek medical attention as soon as possible. In most cases,
initial signs of poisoning are general symptoms such as nausea or

Read the pesticide label4

Before you buy a pesticide, read the pesticide label to determine:

If the pesticide will control the pest or pests.

If the pesticide can be applied safely and legally under the application conditions.
Where the pesticide can and cannot be applied.
Necessary application and safety equipment.
The amount of pesticide needed for the application (buy only the amount needed).
Relevant restrictions for use of the pesticide.

Compare different pesticide labels, because often several different products will control the
same pest. A comparison of the labels and product prices will help select the product that
controls the pest and is less toxic and/or less expensive.

Before you mix the pesticide, read the label to determine:

Protective equipment you should use.

Compatibility of the pesticide with other products or additives.
Amount of the pesticide to use.
Mixing procedure.

North Dakota State University Agriculture and University Extension,


Before you apply the pesticide, read the label to determine:

Safety measures you should follow.

Procedures to follow to minimize potential harm to people, animals, plants or the
How to apply the pesticide.
When to apply the pesticide (including the limitations about reentering a treated area
and the minimum number of days that must elapse after the application before
vegetables, fruits, or other crops can be harvested).

Before you store or dispose of the pesticide or pesticide container, read the label to

Where and how to store the pesticide.

Pesticide Label Information
How to decontaminate and dispose of the pesticide container.
Where and how to dispose of surplus pesticides.


The use of pesticides is not without hazard for the farmer and his family, the extension agent,
the consumer, and the environment. Pesticides become more hazardous through improper use.
Users need to have a good understanding of the potential hazards of the various activities
linked with the use of pesticides and on how to reduce these hazards.
When handling or using pesticides, a number of precautions need to be taken to prevent entry
of the pesticide into the human body. The pesticide may follow three routes:

Through the skin.

Through the mouth.
Through breathing.

Skin contact: Absorption of a pesticide through the skin when handling and applying
pesticides is the most common cause of pesticide poisoning. This can occur not only through
obvious splashes and spillage of concentrates directly onto the skin but also through the
wearing of contaminated clothing, or by continuous exposure to spray. Chemicals pass readily
from clothing to the skin, and can penetrate even through healthy unbroken skin into the body.
Some parts of the body (the eyes, scalp, back of the neck, forehead and genital area) absorb
pesticides much faster than other parts. If the applicators work without aprons or with bare
legs, the area exposed is thus several times larger than if protected with cloths. Special care
must be taken in hot weather because sweating increases skin absorption.

Oral ingestion:(swallowing) Ingestion of pesticides is particularly dangerous because the

toxic substances are rapidly taken into the blood. Such poisoning may occur because of an
accident or intentionally but mostly it is caused by carelessness. Well known examples are:
eating, drinking or smoking without washing the hands after handling or spraying pesticides;
using empty pesticide containers to store drinking water or food; keeping pesticides in
unlabelled containers that are normally used to store water or food; storing pesticides within
reach of children, etc
Inhalation: Uptake by breathing may be dangerous if volatile chemicals are used in enclosed
spaces. Few sprays and dusts are capable of passing along the airways from the nose into the
lungs. Avoiding breathing spray mists is however recommended.
Hazards for the Environment
Wherever pesticides are used, there is the possibility that due to human error or carelessness
some may find their way outside the crop or the area that had to be treated with herbicides.
The resulting contamination is a potential hazard for man, his livestock and his environment.
Special risk areas are:

Wells, ponds and watercourses.

Cultivated land, where existing or following crops may be contaminated.
Uncultivated land, supporting wild plants and animals.

The most common causes of environmental contamination are spillage and leaks during
transport, storage and application, improper disposal of containers and leftover pesticides,
washing of containers and equipment, overdosing during application, and application in
strong winds or close to susceptible areas such as open waters.
Be Aware of the Toxicity of the Pesticide
The different hazard classes of the pesticides used in Bhutan are given in Extension Leaflet
No 5, the Extension Leaflets dealing with specific pests and in this manual. The label on the
pesticide container also provides information on the toxicity of the pesticide and on the
necessary safety precautions that have to be taken.
The pesticide label: The Pesticides Labelling Regulation that will be enacted in the year
2000 regulates the kind of information that should be printed on the pesticide label
(completed with a tie-on label if necessary). With regard to safety the following information
should be provided:
Warnings to prevent incorrect or inappropriate use.
Use and conditions under which the product should not be used.
A statement of the safety interval between last application and harvest; use or
consumption; access by humans or animals; sowing or planting of succeeding crops.

Warning statements. The hazard statements and symbols according to the class of the
pesticide (see table 1); the statement KEEP LOCKED UP OUT OF REACH OF
CHILDREN and other statements as required.
Safety precautions.
Symptoms of poisoning, first-aid instructions, antidote statement and advice to
In addition the toxicity of a pesticide has to be shown on the label as a colour band: Red is
used to indicate a toxic to very toxic product (Class I A and I B); yellow indicates a harmful
product (Class II) and blue a product that needs to be handled with caution.(Class III).Certain
manufactures use a green band to indicate that there is no acute hazard when using the
pesticide. Farmers must learn the meaning of the colour codes.
Pictograms, stressing in simple pictures particular aspects of storage, handling and applying
pesticides are becoming ever more in use. The most commonly used pictograms are shown in
fig.5. It is essential that farmers understand the meaning of the pictograms.
away and
out of
STORAGE reach of
Pictogram children
Handling Handling dry Applicati
concentrate on



Wear eye

after use


over nose
and mouth


Dangerou Dangerous/
s/ harmful harmful to
to animals fish - do not
lakes, rivers,
ponds or


Take Measures to Reduce Hazards from Pesticides

It is the policy of the NPPC to recommend pesticides of a low toxicity in so far possible.
However, no pesticide is without hazard and therefore precautions have to be taken when
handling, applying, transporting and storing pesticides. Eating, drinking, smoking and
chewing of doma or khaini should be avoided when handling or using pesticides, even when
they have a low toxicity.



Buying Pesticides

Never buy damaged packages or tins of pesticides.

Never buy pesticides that are not in their original package or bottle.

Protective clothing
With all pesticides, users must minimise contamination. Even when nonspecific clothing is
recommended on the Extension Leaflet or product label, lightweight clothing covering as
much of the body as possible and boots should be worn. Trousers should be kept outside the
boots. When additional protective clothing is recommended, it only needs the wearing of
gloves and face masks or goggles. To help prevent skin contamination special clothing should
be kept for use only during mixing and application. All clothing should be well washed after
Measuring and Mixing
Always stick to the recommended dose rates and dilutions. Higher doses will not produce
better effects; lower doses will be less effective. Do not make mixtures of pesticides but when
advised to do so by the NPPC.
Concentrates, which mix easily with water, can be measured out and poured directly into the
knapsack sprayer tank partly filled with water. Wettable powders are best pre-mixed with a
little water before pouring into the sprayer tank. The tank should then be filled to the correct

level, and mixed well. Spray solutions used in power sprays should be well stirred with a stick
to ensure good mixing.
When measuring and mixing the following procedure is recommended:

Use the pesticide only as recommended by the NPPC. Information on the correct use
of pesticides and the safety precautions that have to be taken is given in the relevant
Extension Leaflets and the pesticide label.

Wear protective clothing as recommended.

Do not measure out or mix pesticides in or near houses, or where livestock are kept.

Keep children and animals away.

Take care not to contaminate water supplies, or pools from which animals drink.

Use suitable equipment.

Measures: Khaini tins or other local measures as indicated in table 2.Where

measures are supplied with packs, or marked upon them-Use them. Never use
hands as scoops.

Bucket or similar container with a stick for mixing. Never use hands or arms
for stirring,



Pour liquids carefully to avoid spillage and use a funnel, if necessary.

Handle dusts and wettable powders carefully to avoid fluffing-up. Stand so that the
wind will blow dust or splashes away from you and not towards you.


Use proper equipment for

measuring and mixing

Never touch pesticides with bare


Wash all equipment after use. Tip washing water into a hole in the ground, away from
dwellings, wells, waterways and crops. Mixing vessels and measures used for
pesticides must not be used for any other purpose.
Close packages after use to prevent leaks or contamination and store safely, Always
keep pesticides in their original containers; do not transfer into drink bottles or food
If spillage of pesticides occurs, deal with it as described on page 31.

Disposal of containers
Empty pesticide containers should not be used again as containers for food or drinking water
for humans or animals because the complete removal of the pesticide by washing with water
is impossible. These containers therefore will always remain a potential hazard.
Metal cans should be washed, punctured, flattened and buried. Plastic cans should be washed,
punctured, buried or burned and carton boxes should be burned.
Pesticide application in the field
In Bhutan several application techniques of pesticides are used in the field depending upon
the crop, the pest problem, the type of pesticide, the application equipment and the control
strategy. There are, however a number of basic principles common to most situations, which
enable users to reduce hazards as much as possible.

Do not apply pesticides without adequate training.


Never allow children to apply or be exposed

to pesticides; keep them out of areas being
treated or areas that had been treated

Do not allow other workers in the field when pesticides are being applied.
Use the pesticide as recommended in the Extension Leaflets.
Give due consideration to weather conditions, particularly wind, which may cause
spray drift. This may make the pesticide ineffective; by blowing it away from the
target and it may be hazardous if it drifts onto the operator, other crops, water, animals
or houses. Some pesticides are easily washed off by rain, and need a rain-free period
after application to be effective.

Do not apply pesticides when it is likely to


Do not work in strong winds, Work so that any wind blows the pesticide away from
operators and not onto them.
Do not blow out clogged nozzles with the mouth but clean them with water or a soft
probe, such as a grass stem.
Keep people and animals out of freshly treated crops.
Never leave pesticides and equipment unattended.
Never leave pesticide containers open.
Collect up all wastes such as empty packages or bottles for safe disposal.

Hygiene. Personal hygiene is very important for all involved in pesticide application.

After pesticide handling or application, hands and face should be washed with water
and soap before eating, drinking or smoking.
Do not eat, drink, smoke, and chew doma or khaini during pesticide use or before
Do not touch face or bare skin with soiled gloves or hands during pesticide use.
Wash gloves (if worn) before removal.
Wash thoroughly after work, and wash clothing used during the pesticide application
each day.
Ensure that all the safety precautions on the product label are observed.

Re-entry to treated crops

With some pesticides there should be a time interval between the treatment of the crop and a
re-entry of the fields. This period allows for a reduction of the pesticide residues and prevents
the risk of contamination when walking through the treated crop. Where such a risk exists, the
NPPC will advise on the period of time that should be observed. Additional information can
be found on the product label. It is a sensible precaution in any way to wait at least 24 hours
after the last application to enter the fields again. Re-entry periods specified for humans also
apply to domestic animals.
Pre-harvest interval: (minimum period between pesticide application and harvest)
The Extension Leaflets and the product label will specify the period that must elapse between
the last treatment and harvesting of the crop. This period should be strictly observed to ensure
that pesticide residues on the crop are within acceptable limits.
Pesticides pose hazards to man and his environment from the stage of their manufacture until
they are used, disposed off safely or completely degraded. Hazards are present during storage,
transport and handling at the point of supply to users. It is therefore important that great care
should be taken to minimize these hazards. During storage and transport the quality of the
pesticides has to be maintained within acceptable limits until the pesticides are used.
Storage at Dzongkhag Level
A number of important measures have to be taken to minimize hazards and reduce wastage.
They concern:

Maintenance of the pesticide stocks in good condition.
Emergency precautions.

Security: Pesticides must always be stored under lock and key in a secure place, out of reach
of unauthorized people, children and animals. In most Dzongkhags, the NPPC has

constructed special stores for the storage of pesticides. Where these have not been built and
where a separate storage building is not available, pesticides must be stored in a well
ventilated separate section of a building than can be securely locked and away from offices or
places where people live.
Maintenance of stocks in good condition: The first step in maintaining pesticides stocks in
good condition is to study the recommendations for the storage of the pesticides on the
product label and to implement these recommendations as much as possible. The label should
also give the expiry date of the product, after which the use of the product should not be
allowed without the approval from NPPC. If there are any doubts on this, or on any technical
aspect of storing a particular product, the nearest RNRRC or the NPPC at Semtokha should
be contacted.
To ensure that stocks of pesticides are kept in good, useable condition, due attention must be
given to the following four points.

The correct siting and construction of pesticides stores, to minimize deterioration due
to climatic conditions.
The correct positioning and stacking of drums, boxes and other containers to avoid
damage and to facilitate inspection.
The adherence to the principle of first-in, first-out when using the stocks.
Regular inspections and keeping of records.

Emergency precautions in stores

Wherever pesticides are stored, and on whatever scale, precautions must be taken to prevent
accidents and damage, and the consequent problems of waste creation and disposal. In the
event that they may occur, provision must be made to deal promptly and effectively with:

Spillage and leakage.
Contamination of personnel.

Fire: Pesticides, especially those formulated as flammable liquids, can present major fire
hazards, and can give off flammable vapours at normal temperatures. Therefore good
ventilation (at ground as well as at roof level) is essential Containers must not be left open.
Leaks and spillages must be dealt with promptly. SMOKING AND THE USE OF NAKED
FLAMES MUST BE FORBIDDEN INSIDE STORES. Heating and electrical installations
and equipment should be constructed, installed and maintained according to proper explosion
and fire safety requirements.
Notices must be placed on the outside of pesticide stores stating DANGER PESTICIDE;
AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY. Notices and symbols indicating NO SMOKING;
NO NAKED FLAME must be prominently displayed inside and outside. Most important,
these rules must be strictly enforced. Water must be immediately available, and buckets of
sand or earth should be provided in all stores for the purpose of extinguishing small fires or

for absorbing any spillages or leaks. Depending on the size of stores, one or more fire
extinguishers must be available and must be checked regularly to ensure that they are properly
charged. They should be located where they are easily reached in an emergency, normally
next to the door. Gas masks, gloves and boots, for at least two people, must be permanently
available, with easy access to, but not kept inside, the store. They should be checked and
cleaned regularly.
Spillages and leaks: Spillages in stores are most likely to occur when inadequately sealed or
damaged containers are being moved or when pesticides are being measured out from larger
to smaller containers. If spillages or leaks occur, they must be dealt with immediately:

Keep people and animals away.

Dont smoke or use naked lights near the spillage.
Remove damaged packages and place them on bare ground, away from dwellings and
water supplies, where soil will absorb the leakage.
Use soil or sawdust to absorb liquids, sweep up carefully and bury in a place where
there is no possibility of wells and waterways.
Wear protective clothing during clean up operations.
In case foodstuffs are contaminated, these should be destroyed by burying them deeply
in a hole or by burning.

Contamination of Personnel: Provided pesticide containers are kept in good condition and
handled sensibly by trained personnel, contamination should not occur, but where it does
immediate action has to be undertaken:

Remove affected clothing.

Thoroughly wash contaminated skin areas with soap and water.
Seek medical advice as quickly as possible.
Provide the medical attendant with the label of the container from which the pesticide

Storage and Sale at RNRRCs and Geogs

Most RNRRCs and Geogs will have a small store in their office premises, or very close to it,
for storing pesticides. The principles of safe storage and handling are similar to those for
larger Dzongkhag stores: In particular,

Pesticides must be stored separately and away from all other materials, to avoid any
possibility of contamination, or confusion with other materials.
The pesticide store must always be locked to avoid theft and unauthorized access.
Pesticides must be stored away from and out of reach of children, animals and
unauthorized persons.
Pesticides must not be stored in human or animal food storage areas, or near fires,
stores, or lamps, and should not be kept in occupied rooms.

The floor and walls of the store should be constructed with material that is
impermeable to water and should not crack easily; concrete is preferable.
The store must be dry and well ventilated. There should be adequate lighting, but
pesticides must not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Pesticides should be neatly stored on racks or pallets, as discussed above for storage in
Dzongkhag stores.
Stock must be rotated on the first-in first-out principle to avoid expiry of shelf life,
Stores must be regularly inspected to ensure that both the store and its contents are in
an acceptable condition.
A pesticide must not be sold to a minor, usually any person below 18 years of age.
Pesticides should only be sold in their original undamaged package or container.
Users must be given clear and concise instruction on how to use the pesticide safely
and effectively.
Pesticide packs, when purchased by a farmer or other user should be packed in a
plastic bag and must not be carried along with food.
Damaged or expired pesticides must be kept separately for return to Dzongkhag stores
and a noticeNOT FOR SALE placed above these containers.
Notices must be placed on the outside of pesticide stores stating DANGER
indicatingNO SMOKING: NO NAKED FLAME must be prominently displayed
inside and outside. Most importantly these rules must be enforced.
Water must be immediately available and buckets of sand or earth should be provided
in all stores for the purpose of extinguishing fires or for absorbing any spillages or
Any spillages or leaks, or any contamination of personnel with pesticides, must be
dealt with immediately as described earlier.

Storage on the farm

Many accidents with pesticides occur on the farm because the pesticides were not safely
stored. In all farmer trainings the risks of unsafe storage of pesticides should be stressed. To
prevent accidents it is essential that:

Pesticides should never be stored in the living quarters.

Pesticides are always kept in their original containers.
Pesticides are kept out of reach of children and preferably locked in a separate
cupboard or box.
Pesticides are kept in such a way that they cannot be mistaken for food or drink.
Pesticides are kept dry, but away from fires and out of direct sunlight.





It is essential that careful consideration should be given to the methods used to transport
pesticides from NPPC to Dzongkhag and from NPPC to Geog stores. Sensible procedures

Do not load pesticides onto vehicles carrying passengers, livestock, foodstuffs and
other materials for human or animal consumption or use. If this is unavoidable then
separate the pesticides as much as possible from passengers and the remainder of the
loads. Always clean the vehicle after unloading.
Pesticides must never be carried inside the passenger compartment of cars. They
should be placed in the trunk of the car, in an outsize container, or, preferably, in a

Those directly responsible for collection and transport (drivers, etc.) must know what
their loads contain, and what action must be taken in the event of an emergency.

Special care must be taken during loading and unloading to prevent damage to
containers. Protruding nails, metal strips and wood splinters on lorry bodies must be
hammered flat before loading. Always load packages the correct way up as indicated,
and ensure that fragile packages will not be crushed. Do not unload large drums or
other heavy packages by pushing them off the backs of Lorries. They must be
unloaded in a controlled way.

Loads must be secured so that they cannot move about or fall off during transport.

Leaking and contaminated packages must not be accepted for loading.


The symptoms of pesticide poisoning may appear more or less immediately after the exposure
or may be built up over a period of hours or longer. (fig.8)

The different
groups of
pesticides may
cause different
types of
poisoning, each
needing a special
treatment. The
severity of the
depends on the
type of pesticide,
the dosage and
the period of

Symptoms of pesticideComa
Pinpoint pupils
Convulsions Excessive tears
Headache Blurred vision
Dizziness Salivation
Tightness in chest
Rapid heart beat
Elevated blood pressure
Muscular fibrillation
Muscular weakness

Mild poisoning:
Headache, a feeling of sickness (nausea), dizziness, fatigue, irritation of the skin, eyes, nose
and throat, diarrhoea, perspiration and loss of appetite.
Moderate poisoning: vomiting, blurred vision, stomach cramps, rapid pulse, difficulty in
breathing, constricted eye pupils, excessive perspiration, trembling and twitching of the
muscles, fatigue and nervous distress.
Severe poisoning: convulsion, respiration failure, loss of consciousness and loss of pulse.
Pesticide poisoning may show symptoms of other disorders such as heatstroke, pneumonia,
asthma, low blood sugar levels, or intestinal infections. The correct diagnosis has to be made
by a physician.
Signs of environmental contamination
The immediate impact of environmental contamination may show as the sudden appearance
of dead fish, birds, other vertebrates or domestic animals. The long-term effect can only be
assessed by means of specialised studies. Any indications of environmental contamination
should be reported immediately to the NPPC.

First Aid: Management at Scene of Incident

Speed is essential. Do not wait for expert help but
Immediately call for medical assistance or bring the victim to a doctor and provide the doctor
with all relevant information, in particular the cause of the accident, the suspected point of
entry of the pesticide, the pesticide label with information on the active ingredient of the
pesticide and recommendations on how to handle in case of poisoning, etc.
At the same time a number of activities need to be undertaken while waiting medical
Avoid self-contamination during the activities.
Terminate the exposure to pesticides by removing the person from the place of spillage or
other contamination.
Remove contaminated clothing quickly and completely.

Take of contaminated clothes

Wash contamination from the body surface

Remove pesticides from skin, hair and eyes by using large quantities of water.
In case of eyes, hold eyelids apart and rinse thoroughly for about 10 minutes.
If there is no water available, dab or wipe skin with paper or cloth.
Check and monitor permanently if the victim is breathing adequately.
The breathing must be sustained continuously. If breathing is inadequate, give artificial
Keep the victim calm, as he may tend to be extremely agitated.
Place the victim in a convenient position since poisoned victims may become unconscious,
may vomit or the breathing may stop suddenly. Therefore, place the victim on his side with
the head lower than the rest of the body and turned to one side. If the victim is unconscious
keep the chin forward and the head back to ensure that breathing can take place.

If water is lacking, wipe contamination Place unconscious person on his side, tilt the
head back

Particular attention has to be given to the temperature control of the victim. If the
victim feels very warm and sweaty, the victim should be cooled by sponging with cold
water a victim that feels cold should be covered with blankets.

Control overheating with cold water

Control cold with a blanket

Vomiting, as a first aid measure should only be induced in case the chemical has been
swallowed, is highly toxic and likely to be fatal.
Induce vomiting by tickling the finger on the back of the patients throat. Use two fingers
of the other hand to force the patients cheek between his teeth. This ensures that your
finger is not bitten. After vomiting has occurred or if induction is unsuccessful, give three
tablespoons of activated charcoal in a half glass water to drink. Repeat as often as possible
until medical attention is obtained


Lesson objective
At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:
Explain the principles of how sprayers function
List the different types of sprayers
Label the important parts of a sprayer: knapsack sprayers, rocker sprayer
Explain the principle of operation of pumps in knapsack, rocker and pneumatic
Explain the principle of operation of knapsack sprayers
Explain the principle of operation of rocker sprayers
Explain the principle of operation of pneumatic sprayers
Differentiate between hydraulic pump and compression or pneumatic sprayers
Maintenance and care of spray equipment
Principles of how sprayers function
A liquid spray is formed by any of the following methods:
1. When spray liquid is forced out of a tube or barrel using a piston or plunger
(hydraulic sprayers).
2. When spray liquid is forced out by compressed air over a liquid (pneumatic
3. When spray liquid is forced out using a blast of air (e.g mist blowers)
Types of sprayers
1. Lever operated knapsack sprayers
2. Compression or pneumatic sprayers
3. Rocker sprayers
4. Foot (pedal) pump sprayer
5. Duster
6. Others: motorised knapsack sprayers, spinning disc sprayer, mist blowers, birkys,
spinning discs)
1. Lever-operated knapsack sprayer
A knapsack sprayer is suitable for small plantings up to an acre in size. This sprayer is
entirely manual and is carried on an operator's back. Also called a backpack sprayer, the
knapsack sprayer is designed to be as light as practical. The parts of the knapsack sprayer
are the same as those found on most sprayers: a tank to hold the spray mix; a pump to
produce pressure and flow; a regulator to control the flow; and at least one nozzle to
atomize the spray mix. The commonly available knapsack sprayer in Bhutan is the leveroperated shoulder-pump knapsack sprayer. It is made of stainless steel tank with a tank
capacity of about 12 to 16 liters. Continuous pumping is required to operate the sprayer. The

sprayer is strapped and carried on the back like a backpack. Inside the sprayer tank is the
pump assembly with a pressure vessel enclosing the pump cylinder. The pump is operated
by one hand while the lance and the nozzle are directed by the other. Between 20 to 30
pumping strokes per minute are required to produce a fairly even spray. These sprayers are
not suitable for spraying tree crops but are convenient for low crops such as the vegetable
crops. The sprayer is also suitable for applying herbicides.
Lever operated knapsack sprayers have over arm lever type and under-arm type. The over
arm type is easier to operate than the under arm type when walking between tall plants, but
is more fatiguing than the under arm lever types. Sprayers may be built for left or right
handed use or are adjustable for either. For efficient use of the lever, the sprayer must fit
comfortably on the back with well tightened straps. Straps should preferably be 40 50
mm wide, adjustable and made of rot proof webbing.
The distribution system includes an on-off valve, one or more nozzles on a wand. The time
and energy needed to use a knapsack sprayer on fruit trees limits the device to small
plantings. When labor is of minimal consideration, such as with homeowners and hobbyists,
the knapsack sprayer can be effective. Its size, however, is not practical for applying high
rates of water per acre. Considerable practice is required to obtain thorough coverage of
trees without over spraying, which creates wasteful runoff and may increase the risk of
A great deal of skill is needed to obtain a uniform application. Application rates, walking
speeds, and coverages also will vary with operator fatigue caused by temperature
conditions, the time of day, the slope of the terrain, and the walking surface. In addition, the
risk of overspraying and underspraying is increased because the knapsack sprayer uses a
small volume of water. Extra care should be given to coverage and uniformity.
The sprayers have a built-in piston or diaphragm pump that is operated by hand. Some
models can be adapted to either right- or left-hand pumping; the other hand is needed to
operate the flow-control valve and the wand. The chamber that pressurizes the chemical
liquid is very small, so the operator must pump while walking and spraying.
When the hand lever is operated the piston moves up and down. During the upward stroke,
spray liquid is drawn into the cylinder through an inlet ball-valve at the bottom; on a
downward stroke of the plunger, the spray liquid is forced into the pressure vessel through
an outlet ball-valve. Air trapped above the liquid in the pressure chamber is compressed by
the incoming liquid. The compressed air forces the liquid out through the lance and the

Parts of a typical lever operated knapsack sprayer

1. Tank
2. Lever
3. Funnel/lid/strainer
4. Pump assembly (Pressure vessel; pump cylinder; piston; valves; strainer)
5. Delivery port
6. Spray hose
7. Cock
8. Grip
9. Lance
10. Nozzle

2. Compression or pneumatic sprayers

This type of sprayers does not need to be pumped continuously like the shoulder pump
sprayers. The sprayer has a cylindrical tank in which air is pressurized with a plunger pump.
The entire tank needs to be air-tight as it has to act as a pressure vessel. The tank should be
filled only about 75% of the total volume so that there is some space above the liquid for
pressurizing air. The sprayer is pumped before spraying and no pumping is required during
actual spraying. To produce a fairly uniform and even spray, the sprayer should be pumped
at regular intervals or as and when the operator notes a drop in pressure. The lid of the
sprayer should not be removed without first releasing the built up pressure as there are
chances of liquid spurting out under pressure.

3. Rocking sprayer
It is known as a rocking sprayer because the pump is operated back and forth in a rocking
motion. Two persons are required to operate this sprayer: one to pump and the other to
spray. The rocking sprayer does not have a built-in tank but the suction hose pipe draws in
liquid from a bucket. This sprayer needs long hoses up to 6 m and pressure is good enough
to direct spray against tall trees. Therefore this sprayer is good to use in the orchards.

Parts of rocking sprayer

1. Pump assembly: pump barrel, plunger or piston; inlet ball valve and outlet ball valve
2. Pressure chamber/vessel
3. Suction hose/suction line
4. Strainer
5. Delivery hose/delivery line
6. Spray lance
7. Trigger cut-off valve
8. Nozzle


Two types of sprayers are presently in common use.
1. The lever-operated Knapsack Sprayer is mainly used to spray low crops. This
sprayer consists of a Tank, a hydraulic pump assembly and a Discharge Line. The
pump assembly has a pressure vessel in which the spray liquid is loaded. The
capacity of the tank of the sprayers is mostly 12 or 14 litres.
2. The Rocking Sprayer is mainly used to spray orchards. The sprayer consists of a
Pump, a Pressure Vessel, a Suction Hose and Spray Lances. The sprayer is handoperated by one person while the spraying is done by a second person. By moving
the lever of the sprayer, the spraying mixture is sucked from the bucket or container
with the spraying mixture via the suction hose into the sprayer and brought under
pressure in the pressure vessel. From there the liquid will be discharged via the
spraying lance.
Besides above described sprayers, there are also other sprayers in use, including motorized
sprayers but in limited numbers only.
The Spray Nozzle is the outlet of the sprayer. The proper selection and operation of spray
nozzles are of key importance for the correct application of the pesticides. The nozzle
determines the amount of spray applied to a given area, the uniformity of the applied spray,
the coverage obtained on the sprayed surfaces and how much drift occurs.
Nozzles can be available in different materials like
1. stainless steel: recommended for use with all spray materials as they are much
stronger but more costly,
2. Nylon: Resists corrosion and abrasion,
3. Aluminium: subject to corrosion and has a short life,
4. Brass: Not resistant to abrasive materials such as wettable powders and wear rapidly,
and are cheap. Brass nozzles are the most commonly used in Bhutan.

There are many different types of nozzles.

1. Solid cone nozzle

This nozzle sprays a circular (conical) pattern of droplets, which are evenly
distributed over the whole circle with the centre being filled too. This type is suited
for spraying field crops for insect and disease control.

Fig: Solid cone nozzle

Fig: Solid cone spray

2. Hollowcone type nozzle is the most commonly used nozzle in Bhutan. This nozzle
produces a circular pattern with almost no spray droplets in the centre. This type of
nozzle is very suitable for spraying crops against insect pests, diseases and weed
Fig: Hollow cone type nozzle

3. Regular flat fan nozzle

This nozzle with a flat spray- tip sprays a narrow oval pattern with lighter (tapered)
edges. The narrow droplet pattern makes this nozzle ideal for spraying flat surfaces. It is
suited for the application of herbicides and for spraying walls for vector control.
Frequently they are used in spraying from tractors where nozzles in series are fitted on a
spray boom with good overlapping of the spray pattern for uniform coverage.
Fig: Flat fan nozzle

4. Even flat fan nozzle

This nozzle with an even spray tip provides uniform distribution across the entire width
of the spray band. The even pattern makes it suitable for band spraying in pre and post
emergence herbicide applications and for the spraying of walls.

Fig: Flat fan spray pattern

5. Deflector nozzle
This nozzle is also called impact, anvil or flooding nozzle, produces a wide angle flat fan
Spray pattern. More droplets land at the outer edges of the fan and the pattern is rather
uneven. Impact nozzles are operated at low pressure for pre and post emergence
herbicide and liquid fertilizer applications. At high pressures, very small droplets can be
Fig: Deflector nozzle

These nozzles are presently not available in Bhutan except the Hollow cone type nozzle.
Maintenance of Spraying Equipment
Sprayers are costly but with good maintenance they can provide a good service for many
years. When buying a sprayer always an operational manual should be obtained with
instructions on how to assemble, use and maintain the sprayer.
The following points should be observed when using sprayers:

Always use clean water for diluting the pesticide.

Make sure that the spray liquid is properly mixed.
Load the sprayer with the pesticide solution through a strainer (filter or sieve) in order
to avoid clogging of the nozzle.
Do not spill the spraying solution over the tank or any part of the sprayer to avoid
corrosion and contamination of the operator.

When the spraying operation is finished, empty the spray tank of all remaining
pesticides by spraying what remains on the target crop.
Fill the tank with clean water and some soap and shake vigorously.
Operate the sprayer for about five minutes to clean the sprayer tank, tubes and nozzle.
Remove the nozzle after some minutes and spray again to speedup the cleaning process.
Repeat this procedure with clean water till the sprayer is considered clean.
Remove as much water as possible and oil moving parts as required before storing the

Special attention should be given to the cleaning of the nozzle:

Dismantle the nozzle by unscrewing the nozzle cap from the nozzle body and removing
the nozzle tip and strainer.
Clean the hole in the nozzle tip by back-flushing with clean water. If this is not
possible, use a small brush or soft wire without damaging the tip.
Clean the strainer with water.
Assemble the nozzle.

Things not to do when cleaning nozzles:

Never use sharp objects to clean the mouth of the nozzle or the screen.
Never put a nozzle or screen to your mouth to blow it clean.
Do not over tighten a nozzle cap on the body.
Replace a nozzle or strainer if it cannot be cleaned easily or is damaged by abrasion.
Carry a spare nozzle to prevent much loss of time in the field.
Rinse the sprayer and nozzle several times with water after use to keep them free from
pesticide deposits and dirt.

Do not blow out clogged

nozzles with your mouth
- Clean them with water
or a soft probe.


To CALIBRATE means to mark or correct the units of measurement on (the scale
of a thermometer or some other measuring instrument); the action of calibrating is
known as CALIBRATION. For instance, if we want to make a 30 cm scale out of a
small piece of sawn timber, we would mark the different units on this home-made
scale by using the original scale or a measuring tape. This very act of marking with
units is known as CALIBRATION.
Calibrating a hand-operated sprayer, however, has a slightly different meaning from that of
marking a home-made scale. Here the function of the sprayer being delivery of spray
through the nozzle, we are more interested in finding out the rate of spray output through
the nozzle and the area of coverage that can be achieved with a full load of sprayer.
What is the practical relevance of calibration?
When you plan to conduct a pest control operation, you will want to know:
The spray volume required to cover the given area
How much it would cost you; and the amount of chemical required for the
spraying operation.
How would you work out the total spray volume? You either should possess a very good
experience of spraying, to be able to roughly estimate or else you have to perform a small
trial for yourself. One must definitely know the area that can be covered by one full
load of spray. Remember that the coverage achieved for one crop (say mustard green)
would be different from another crop (say potato) because of the biomass or the density of
the foliage; similarly rice crop is different from maize in crop density, plant height and
probably biomass. Moreover, it would very much depend at what stage of crop you intend
to spray. A maize crop just 5 weeks old would not need the same volume of spray required
by 15-week old maize. The denser the crop, the bigger the amount of spray required. A
precise calculation can be made through a small spraying trial with just water spray.
Remember, once you know your rate of coverage with, say 5 liters of water, you can
workout how much would be required for 1 acre. Such trials that help to find out your rate
of spray coverage constitute the spray CALIBRATION.
What if we do not calibrate?
You will run the risk of buying extra chemical or buying less chemical than is required.
Having purchased the chemicals, the prepared spray volume would either be too less or too
Calibrating a sprayer under different spraying conditions
There is standard method of sprayer calibration; however, the procedure requires slight
modification under different agricultural situations. They are influenced by topography,
planting systems and the type of crops grown.

Calibration of a knapsack sprayer can be done in different ways depending upon the
following situations:
Situation 1:
If spraying operation is to be carried out on a flat land where crops are grown in rows with
enough inter-row spacing to enable free movement for the operator, then one could follow
the standard method of calibration.
Situation 2:
If spraying operation is to be carried out on a flat or slope land with crops grown without
any well-defined rows (Bhutanese situation) and the operator cannot move freely due to
lack of inter-row spacing, then the standard method of calibration needs some modification.
Situation 3:
If spraying is to be carried out in orchards (apple, orange etc), then calibration has to be
done in a completely different manner.
Important points to be noted while calibrating:

Calibration has to be done by the person who is actually going to carry out the spraying
operation and no one else.
A constant speed and pressure has to be maintained during the course of calibration and
the same has to be maintained when actually operating in the field.
A uniform spray coverage has to be maintained (do not overspray on some parts and
under spray on others)
The results of calibration carried out in one crop should not be used for another as crops
have different heights and spread.

Things required during calibration:

For the standard method:
A stop watch or if not available any ordinary watch will serve the purpose.
1. A measuring tape to measure out the area where calibration has to be done.
2. Buckets
3. A jug
4. A graduated cylinder to measure the volume of spray
Under Bhutanese field situations:
1. Measuring tape
2. Few wooden pegs
3. 2 Buckets
4. A jug
Steps in calibrating a knapsack sprayer - under situation 1 (above)
1. Prepare the sprayer:

Rinse and clean sprayer, strainer, nozzle and hose.

Fill the sprayer with clean water.

Apply pressure with cut-off valve in closed position and check for leaks.

Then flush pump, hoses and lance with clean water first without nozzle and next
with nozzle replaced on the lance.
2. Determine the nozzle discharge:

Fill the sprayer with clean water and pump it up to working pressure.

Dip nozzle into a bucket or jar and spray water into the jar for a one-minute
period. Shut of the valve exactly at the end of one minute.

Measure the quantity of water collected in a graduated cylinder (in litres). This is
the nozzle discharge or flow rate expressed in litres per minute

Repeat this calibration three times to obtain the average nozzle discharge per
minute, which should be used in subsequent calculations.

Determine the walking speed of the applicator

3. Determine the walking speed of the applicator

Mark the starting point with a stake in a field planted the crop to be sprayed.

Spray and walk forward exactly for one minute.

When one minute has passed mark the stopping point with another stake and
measure the distance between the first and the second stake in meters.

Repeat this action 3 times to obtain average walking speed.

4. Establish the width of the spray swath.
Spray in the same way as in No.3 above over a very short distance on a dry path or
threshing floor. Measure the width of the swath in meters before the spray dries up.
5. Calculate area sprayed in one minute

Area sprayed per minute (m2/min) = width of swath (metres) x walking speed (metres/min)
6. Calculation of application rate for any given area with the following formula:
Nozzle discharge (litres/min) x Area (m2)
Volume of spray per area (litres)
---------------------------------------------------Area sprayed in one minute (m2/min)
Calibration of Knapsack sprayer under Bhutanese situation- Situation 2(above)
1. Mark a small area in the field where you are going to spray. For example mark with pegs
an area of about 10 x 5 m2 in one corner.
2. Measure about 3 to 5 liters of water and fill up the tank. If you do not have any
measuring devise, use an empty jug and count in terms of the number of jugs.
3. Spray the marked area with plain water. Make sure that you spray uniformly and avoid
spraying until runoff takes place.
4. After having sprayed the area, pour out the remaining water from the tank and measure
the volume left over.
5. Calculate the amount of water used up in spraying the marked area.
6. Measure the area of the field that you are going to spray.
7. The total spray volume required to prepare is calculated as:
Let A= Total area of the main field to be sprayed (No.6)
B = Vol. of spray used up in calibration (No. 5)
C = Area sprayed with plain water (No.1)
Spray vol. required =


Calibration of sprayers for orchard/ tree spraying:

1. Measure out 2- 3 litres of water and fill in to the tank (if knap sack sprayer) or keep it in a
bucket (if Gator sprayer or rocking sprayer is used)
2. Select one representative tree in the orchard. You may also repeat on 3 such trees and find
the average to get precise results.
3. Spray the selected tree/trees and calculate the volume of spray used in for a single tree.
4. Count the total number of trees in the orchard that need spraying.
5. To get the total spray volume required, multiply the total number of trees with the amount
of spray volume required per tree.


Pesticides can only be used effectively, economically and without undue hazard, if the right
quantity is used at the right time. The application of the correct amount of pesticide spray to
a crop is a problem for Bhutan as most of our farmers are illiterate and different units of
measurement are in use in different regions. There is an overall lack of experience in
calculating dosages or spray volumes. However, over the years, extension officers and
farmers have acquired a certain experience in the application of pesticides. Trial and error
has shown what is to be considered a good coverage with a pesticide to achieve control but
further guidance and training is needed in the correct application of pesticides.
Recommended dosages of approved insecticides, fungicides or herbicides are being

provided by the NPPC as ml EC per litre of water; gm WP or SG per litre of water; gm of

insecticide dust or granules per acre (approx. 4000 sq. m).
To ensure a correct application of the recommended dosage, the following problems need to
be addressed:
How to measure the quantity of dust or granules to treat a given area?
How to measure the quantity of formulated pesticide required preparing the recommended
spray solution?
How to determine the quantity of spray solution required spraying a given surface or a
number of trees?
How much pesticide solution has to be applied on the crop or trees to achieve the desired
The first two questions refer to a measurement problem. In table 2 the presently used units
of measurement to prepare WP-based pesticide solutions are given. Experience has shown
that these units of measurement have been widely adopted by the farming community and
therefore its use will be continued but modified as and when needed. The khaini tin, used
to measure the pesticide formulations is shown in figure 3.

Table 2. Measurement of pesticide formulations with khaini tin.


One bottom lid of Khaini tin holds

Carbendazim 50 WP

6 grammes

Captan 50 WP

9 grammes

Copper oxychloride 50 WP

11 grammes

Mancozeb 75 WP

10 grammes

Application rates for dusts and granules

The adherence to the correct rates of application is more difficult because often the fields are
small and farmers use units of measurement that differ from the metric system.
As guidance, in table 3 the pesticide dust and granule formulations are listed that are presently
recommended and their dosages per acre, per thousand sq ms and per 100 sq ms are given:
Table 3. Recommended rates of application of pesticide dusts and granules.
dosage/1000 sq ms
dosage/ 100sq ms
Fenvalerate, 4 DP

600-2500 gm

150-450 gm

15-45 gm

Malathion, 5 DP

6000-8000 gm

1500-2000 gm

150-200 gm

Pyroquilon, 5GR

12000 gm

3000 gm

300 gm

Probenazole, 8GR

12000 gm

3000 gm

300 gm

10000-12000 gm

2500-3000 gm

250-300 gm


Butachlor, 5.GR

In Table 4 some local units of surface measurement are given for comparison.
Table 4: Units of surface measurement used in Bhutan
1 Wet land Langdo

0.25 Acres

25 Decimals

1 Dry land Langdo

0.33 Acres

33 Decimals

1 Acre

4 Wet land Langdo

1 Acre

3 Dry land Langdo

1 Hectare

10 Wet land Langdo

1 Hectare

7 Dry land Langdo

The amount of formulated pesticide (in ml or gm) that has to be diluted in 1 litre of water to
obtain the recommended spraying dosage is given in table 5
Table 5 Recommended spray solutions for ECs and WPs.


Chlorpyrifos 20 EC

4.0 ml / litre of water Glyphosate 41EC

2.5 ml / litre of water

Cypermethrin 10 EC

0.5ml / litre of water Metribuzin 70 WP

1.0 gm / litre of water

Dimethoate 30 EC

Pendimethalin 30 3.5-5.0 ml / litre of

4.0 ml / litre of water EC
Oxyfluorfen 23.5
1.0 ml / litre of water EC
2.0 ml / litre of water

Malathion 50 EC

2.0 ml / litre of water

Dicofol 18.5 EC

Fungicide (General)
Captan 50 WP

Non- toxic compounds

Linseed Oil

2.0 gm /litre of water Protein hydrolysate

2.0 ml / 1gm of
5.0 gm / litre of water

Carbendazim 50 WP
0.5 gm / litre of water Sandovit (Sticker)
1.0 ml / litre of water
Copper oxychloride 50
TSO (Tree Spray
0.5 gm / litre of water Oil)
30.0 ml / litre of water
1.0-2.0 ml / litre of
Hexaconazole 5 EC
Tridemorph 80 EC
0.5 gm / litre of water
Fungicide (Rice blast)
Blastidicin 1EC

1.0 ml / litre of water

Edifenphos 50 EC

2.0 ml / litre of water

Isoprothiolane 40 WP

1.0 gm / litre of water

Kasugamycin 71.2 WP 1.0 ml / litre of water

Tricyclazole 75WP
1.0 gm / litre of water
Application rate
The present practice in Bhutan is to spray a crop or a tree till just before run-off (spraying
stops just before the spraying solution starts to drop from the leaves). Since there is much
experience with this approach, it should be continued when applying pesticides with a contact
action only. When applying pesticides with a systemic action, the coverage does not have to
be that thorough because the pesticide is taken up by the plant and transported with the sap
For spraying fruit trees, the volume of spray mixture needed cannot be calculated in terms of
per acre or sq. m. The uniformity of the spray coverage will depend on the output of the
spraying apparatus (litres of spray per minute; size of the droplets), the foliage of the trees etc.
To decide how much spray mixture or pesticide formulation needs to be used, the following
procedure should be followed:

Fill the spray tank with water, not the chemical.

Spray 10 trees of varying sizes.
Note the time taken to spray 10 trees.
Measure the volume of water used to spray 10 trees.
The volume of spray mixture needed to cover 10 trees will be the same as the volume
of water used. Assume that it is 50 litres. Count the number of trees per acre (or the
number of trees of the orchard). Assume that 100 trees are counted. If 50 litres were
used for 10 trees, then the volume needed for 100 trees is: 50 X 100 divided by 10 =
500 litres.
Assume that the 100 trees have to be sprayed with Hexaconazole 5 EC at a dosage of 2
ml of formulated product per litre of water, then the quantity of Hexaconazole
formulation needed is 500 X 2ml = 1,000 ml (1 litre)


The earlier given rates of application for dusts, granules and pesticide solutions have been
calculated by the NPPC to facilitate the correct use of pesticides in the rural areas. Labels on
commercially available pesticides also provide general recommendations on dosages and
application rates to be used to control pests and diseases. These can be given in different
ways. Often the quantity of a formulated product is given that has to be diluted in a given
quantity of water to be used on a certain surface. This is very similar to the recommendations
given by the NPPC.
Pesticides dosages and application rates can also be given as the amount of active ingredient
or percentage spray concentration that has to be applied on a given surface in a given amount
of water. Based on the active ingredient of the pesticide formulation, calculating the quantity
of pesticide formulation that has to be used, is possible.
When calculating doses and rates of application, Remember:


1 hectare (ha)
1 acre (0.4 ha)
1 litre
1 kilogram (kg)


10,000 square metres (m2)

4,000 square metres (m2) (approximately)
1,000 millilitres (ml) or 1,000 cubic centimetres (cm3)
1, 000 grams (g)

To make the necessary calculations, the following information needs to be available.

The recommended rate in kg or litres of active ingredient per ha or per cent spray
concentration to be applied,
The amount of spray liquid required per ha when applying sprays,
The percent active ingredient of the pesticide in the commercial formulation,
The area in ha, to be treated.
Example 1 - The recommendation (on the label or in the leaflet) for a given foliar spray is to
use a 0.04 % solution at a rate of 320 litres of spray liquid per ha. The EC formulation
contains 45% active ingredient. The area to be treated is 0.5 ha.
Step 1: Calculate how many litres of the EC formulation are required to treat 0.5 ha. First
compute the total spray volume in litres needed to treat the area: This is 320 litres/ha x
0.5 ha=160 litres
Step 2: Calculate the amount of EC formulation that has to be mixed with the 160 litres of
water. This is: Amount of spray required x Recommended spray concentration /
percent active ingredient of the EC formulation: Or 160 x 0.04 / 45 =0.142 litre.
Step 3: Calculate the amount of EC formulation that has to be added to10 litres of water.
This is:10/160 x 0.142 = approx.0.0089 litre (or 9 ml)

Example 2 - In a similar way the calculations can be made for a foliar spray
based on a wettable powder. The recommendation (on the label or in the leaflet)
for a given foliar spray is to use 0.75 kg active ingredient per ha in a volume of
spray solution of 320 litres per ha. The WP formulation contains 70% a.i. and
the area to be treated is 0.5 ha.
Step 1. The total spray volume needed to treat the area is 160 litres of water.
(See example 1)
Step 2: Calculate how many kg of the WP formulation are required to treat 0.5
ha. First compute the amount in kg of the WP formulation that is required
to treat 0.5 ha at the recommended dosage. This is: Recommended rate of
application x Area to be treated x100 / Percent of a. i. in the WP
formulation. Or: 0.75 x 0.5 x 100 / 70 = 0.536 kg.
Step 3. Calculate the amount of WP formulation that has to be added to 10 litres
of water.
This is:10/160 x 0.536 kg= approx.0.033 kg (or 33 g)
Example 3 - To calculate the amount of granules for field application, the
following information has to be available.

The recommended rate of application in kg a.i.. per ha,

The percent of a.i. in the commercial formulation,
The area to be treated.

In this example is the area to be treated a field of 2 ha and the required rate of
application is 0.6 kg a. i. per ha. The granules contain 3 per cent a. i.
The quantity of granules required to treat 2 ha is Recommended rate of
application in kg a.i per ha x area to be treated x 100 / per cent a.i. in the
commercial formulation. Or: 0.6 x2x100 / 3 = 40kg.


Effective control can be obtained by exercising correct choice of a chemical product. To
be able to choose the right chemical, one should have a good knowledge about how a
chemical acts upon the target pest and affects its life processes. The mode of action of a
chemical has to match with the feeding behaviour of the target pest. Brief descriptions of
different modes of action of insecticides with general indications of the type of insects
controlled are given below to be able to choose the right chemical. However,
manufacturers generally produce chemicals with a broad spectrum of action i.e. having a
wide variety of action so that one chemical can be used for quite a large number of pests
with differing feeding habits. This is an advantage for pest control.
a) Stomach poisons: They generally enter a pests body through the mouth during feeding
(ingestion) and are absorbed through the digestive tract. They are good for leaf eating pest
such as caterpillars, flea beetles, grasshoppers etc. A stomach poison has a major
advantage over a contact poison because it is addressed only to a pest consuming the
leaves, and predators can move safely over the deposit. However, stomach poisons are
also rather persistent, and therefore there is risk of ingestion by human beings.
b) Contact poisons: These generally penetrate a pests body as a result of contact with the
legs or other external portions when moving on the treated surfaces such as sprayed
leaves. Their action can be short-lived (hours or days) or long-lived (persistent). Mobile
insects such as caterpillars or flies are vulnerable to contact poisons, but immobile sucking
pests like aphids and scale insects are better controlled by systemic chemicals.
c) Systemic poisons: They are characterized by high water solubility, by which property
they can be readily taken inside the plant through its roots, stems or leaves. Once inside
the plant, systemics move through the plants vascular system to other untreated parts
from where insects acquire the translocated insecticide during feeding. Except for the way
it works through the plant system, it acts upon like a stomach poison. These groups of
insecticides are effective against sucking pests, borers, leaf miners and nematodes. While
using this group of chemicals enough care must be taken and as far as possible, it should
be avoided on vegetable crops. Dimethoate is a systemic insecticide.
d) Fumigants: These are volatile and enter a pests body through the respiratory system
and kill at lethal concentration. Moths and butterflies feed very little and even if they do,
they generally live on the nectar. So a chemical poison with a contact or a stomach action
will have no desired effect. In such a case, fumigation could be the best alternative. But it
should be realised that fumigation is possible only in an enclosed area, e.g. in a closed
chamber or in a go-down of stored grains under a tarpaulin cover. Fumigants are more
commonly used against storage pests.
e) Suffocating materials: These are usually oils that clog the respiratory mechanism of
pests. Since it is likely to cause damage to leaves, their use has to be during the winter

when trees shed their leaves. The Tree Spray Oil (TSO) is one product available through
NPPC and is used against over-wintering woolly aphids, San Jose scales, Red spider mites
Timing of pesticide application
Timing is as essential as the right choice of chemical or the correct method of application.
Why? The susceptibility or the vulnerability of our target pests depends on the following
1. Stage of development of pests
This means that our chemical sprays will not be equally effective all the time. During
periods of rest or reduced biological activity of pests, for instance, as seed or spores, or as
eggs, cysts and pupae, they are much more difficult to control than during periods of
vigorous growth and voracious feeding. Generally, to kill insect eggs, one needs
insecticides with a strong penetrating action (ovicides). The young larval or nymphal
stages are normally times of almost continuous feeding and thus of extensive exposure to
stomach and contact poisons. The fifth instar is the last instar before pupation and has,
therefore, a reduced feeding behaviour. This is why it is often difficult to kill insects at this
stage. Adult stages, such as the moths and butterflies cannot be controlled with chemical
sprays. This is because of their different nature of feeding.
As can be seen from the above description, insects during the larval and nymphal stage eat
voraciously as compared to other stages. For some insects the young larva (first instar)
feed on the plant surface only for short duration before it bores or mines into the interior
parts. A good example is the Brinjal Fruit and Shoot borer (Leucinodes orbonalis). The
larva feeds on the surface for a limited time and soon bores into the shoot or into the
flower buds and fruits without leaving behind any trace of entry. Since the size of the larva
is small, its entry point can hardly be noticed. When it feeds inside the young shoot, it
causes the tip of the shoot to wilt but the symptom on fruits are not noticed until the larva
comes out either for pupation or to move on to the next fruit by which time the damage is
already done. If a pest such as this has to be controlled, timing of pesticide application is
very critical. As soon as we see the first few symptoms, a protective spray might be
necessary so that the young larva is killed right at the time of its surface feeding. A similar
strategy needs to be adopted for most of the borers: cabbage borer (Mamestra brassicae),
citrus leaf miner (Phyllocnistis citrella), Tomato fruit borer (Heliothis armigera Syn.
Helicoverpa armigera), rice stem borer (Chilo partellus incertulas, Scirpophaga
incertulas), apple fruit borer (Argyresthia sp.)
2. The growth stage of the crop
The susceptibility of crop plants to damage from insects, nematodes, diseases, weeds etc.,
usually varies in the course of their growth period. Seedlings in particular are easy victims
for soil pathogens and soil insects. Often, organisms are specific concerning the stage of
growth and the parts of the plants they attack. For example: the rice bug (also called
Gandhi bug), Leptocorisa acuta damages the developing grains at milky stage. The
symptoms of loose smut (Ustilago tritici) of wheat appear at the ripening stage of the ears,

but the spores are carried over by the seed and germinate in the seedlings. The rice bug
may be controlled by spraying the ripening panicles but smut is controlled by seed
treatment with fungicides.
3. The development stage of natural enemies and activity of honey bees
The stage of development and the whereabouts of natural enemies should be taken into
consideration. If the natural enemy population is appreciably high, chances should be
given for the natural enemy to control the pest. This can be done either by avoiding the
spray or reducing the number of sprays to the bare minimum. Indiscriminate spraying in
the past has decimated (killed) predatory and parasites to such an extent that pests of
hitherto little economic importance suddenly could become a major cause of damage.
These so-called secondary pests usually cease to be a problem if proper attention is given
to protecting self-regulating forces in nature. The numerous spiders in rice are, for
instance, indispensable agents for controlling plant hoppers and leafhoppers. Spraying of
extensive areas would diminish their chances for rapid decolonisation in treated fields;
therefore, such spraying should be avoided.
There are insects, which are helpful in the pollination. Honeybees are the most common
insects that are not only beneficial as pollinating agents but also as producers of honey.
Therefore spraying of insecticides must be avoided during the blossoming time when
these insects are active in the field. There are chemicals that are supposed to be safe to
honey bees but one should be sure of such properties before deciding to spray.
4. The severity of damage or infestation
Use of pesticide involves costs and has associated risks to human health. The total cost
must be compared with the expected benefits of higher yield or prevention of damage and
loss. The Economic Threshold Level (ETL) or Action Threshold Level is an economic
standard that indicates the level of infestation when a farmer should start applying
pesticides. This means that the level of infestation by pest organisms has been reached
when the damage they are causing would surpass the capacity of the crop to tolerate and
compensate for it, and the marketing prices would justify the expenditure on crop
protection measures. It is basically an IPM tool that enables a farmer to making decisions
on spraying. Action thresholds need to be established separately for control of weeds,
diseases, insects or other organisms in important crops. Such standards are quite different
for high value crops such as vegetables, flowers and fruits. Thus, it is a complicated affair
in which plant protection services need to advise farmers. This is further complicated by
consumer habits. Since consumers demand fruits and vegetables without any blemishes,
fruit and vegetable growers are often enticed to spray frequently and right up to the time
of harvest, thereby protecting more the cosmetic appearance of the produce than its
nutritional value.
While the threshold standards for rice seems to be a well-established scientific tool in
some rice growing countries of South East Asia such as Indonesia, its use in Bhutan is not
in practice. One reason is: in Bhutan most of the rice, aside the southern belt is grown in a
warm temperate region where pest problems as such are not serious enough to warrant any
spraying. Except for some sporadic sprays against rice blast since 1995, it can be said with
confidence that rice grown in the northern valleys of Bhutan is free from pests. Therefore

there does not arise the need to establish any ETL. However, lack of established ETLs in
Bhutan cannot be an excuse for not spraying. Especially on important cash crops such as
apples, potato and vegetables in general, sprays might be required to not only prevent the
yield loss but also to ensure quality produce in terms of physical appearance. While the
time for spraying might depend on the type of crop and the pest, the assessment of the
severity of damage or infestation has to be more rationale and based on practical realities.
A rough estimation of the cost of spraying must be made to find out the cost-benefit ratio.
A ngultrum spent on control should bring in a benefit of more than a ngultrum. Otherwise
the control measure is not justified. Therefore the time for spraying should be dictated by
the level of infestation or the severity of damage. In other words: Spray only as and when
5. The type of weather and the time of day
Adverse weather conditions may spoil the result of a technically good application. A
heavy rain shortly after the spraying may wash off the chemical before it can have its
effect. For this reason, it is recommended that insecticides not be sprayed when rain is
expected within the same day. In the case of herbicide application on the soil, however,
rainfall shortly after spraying may improve the penetration of the weed killer into the soil
and into the rooting zone of the weeds.
Spraying on a windy day may cause spray drifts. Spraying during the hottest hours of the
day with bright sunshine should be avoided generally, for several reasons: evaporation of
the volatile components in the spray liquid is higher; rapid evaporation of the spray
droplets may increase the risk of phytotoxic scorching; working under the host sun leads
to heavy perspiration and is fatiguing; both factors increasing the risk of intoxication of
the people involved in the application. Therefore it is recommended that pesticide
applications be carried out in the early morning or late afternoon, or on days when the sky
is overcast.
One should also take into account the behavior of the insects to be controlled. To control a
typical daytime feeder such as rice hispa (Dicladispa armigera), it is better to spray in the
morning hours. But to control the rice armyworms, or ear-cutting caterpillars, (Mythimna
spp.) which feed during evening and night, the late afternoon would be the best time for
Spraying or fumigation in store, glasshouses or plastic tunnel constructions should be
planned at the end of a working day when nobody needs to enter the treated area for some
period of time.
Good knowledge of the properties of the pesticide used, of the behaviour of the pests to be
controlled and of the characteristics of the application equipment are necessary for proper
timing of the application in relation to weather and time of day.
6. Pre-harvest interval
For most of the chemicals applied on vegetable crops like cabbage, cauliflower and
broccoli, the recommended waiting period or the pre-harvest interval is two weeks. This

means that a minimum of two weeks must pass after the crop has received the last
spraying. After two weeks it is considered safe to harvest and consume.
For maintaining the cosmetic value rather than the nutritional value, horticulture produce
(especially vegetables) coming to Bhutanese weekend markets from Falakata in India are
known to be heavily sprayed just a couple of days before it is harvested and brought to
Bhutan. Unless proper measures are taken, Bhutanese urban dwellers are likely to suffer
from residual effects that may lead to health problems of unknown cause in the long run.
This is likely to happen due to cumulative accumulation of the toxicants, the effect of
which is known as chronic poisoning. There are two types of poisoning: a) Acute
poisoning b) Chronic poisoning. Acute poisoning is the result of an accidental or
intentional single or repeated exposure to a substantial dose of toxicant. In case of acute
poisoning, the effect is noticed soon after the exposure. For instance, headache, giddiness,
vomiting, paralyses are symptoms of a different degree of poisoning effect. Chronic
poisoning is as a result of prolonged or frequently repeated exposure to lower doses of the
toxicant. The effect is normally not realized immediately and it is difficult to pinpoint the
cause. There are, however, cases of abnormalities developing many years later. Therefore,
abundant care must be taken whenever one buys agriculture produce coming from India.
Thorough washing is one way of ensuring the removal of any pesticide residues, if there is
Oudejans, J.H. (1991). Agro-pesticides: Properties and functions in integrated crop
protection. UNESCO (for Asia and the Pacific).
Van Emden, H.F. (1989). Pest Control. Cambridge University Press.


Blasticidin (Blasticidin-S; BLA-S)
Classification: Fungicide.
Formulation: 1% a.i. EC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50:16 mg/kg; I B, Highly Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: II
Properties and Use: An antibiotic used as a preventive and curative contact fungicide,
temporarily introduced in Bhutan to control rice blast.
Irritant to the eye.
Higher than recommended rates will cause leaf spotting.
Slightly toxic to fish.
No recommended interval between application and harvest available.
No antidote known.
Extension Leaflet: No37 (Rice Blast)
Butachlor (Golteer, Machete, Punch etc.)
Classification: Herbicide.
Formulation: 5% a.i. granules.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50:3300mg/kg; Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A selective pre-plant or pre-emergence herbicide to control annual
grasses and certain broad-leaved weeds in rice. It is not effective against Potamogeton
Mild skin and eye irritant.
Do not treat if rain is expected within 6 hours.
Toxic to fish.
Extension Leaflet: No35 (Weeds)

Carbofuran (Furadan)
Classification: Insecticide.
Formulation: 3% a.i. granules.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 8mg/kg; I B, Highly Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: II
Properties and Use: A carbamate compound used as a systemic and contact
Toxic to bees, birds and fish.
Minimum period between application and harvest is 6 weeks.
Use only allowed by Drukseed, because of high toxicity and long
interval between application and harvest.

Captan (Hexacap, Orthocide, etc.)

Classification: Fungicide.
Formulation: 50% a.i. WP.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50 :9.000 mg/kg; Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A protective and curative fungicide for foliage, seed and soil
application, effective against a wide range of pathogens. It is used as a spray to control leaf
spots and fruit rots of cucurbits, peppers and potatoes. The product can also be used as seed
dressing or as a soil drench to control damping-off.
May be irritating to skin, eyes, nose and mouth.
Toxic to fish.
Do not use treated seed for human or animal feed.
Minimum period of two weeks between application and harvest.
Extension Leaflet No 6 (Apple Scab)
Carbendazim (Derosal, Bavistin, etc.)
Classification: Fungicide.
Formulation: 50% a.i. WP.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50:10.000 mg/kg.; Unlikely to present acute hazard in
normal use.
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A systemic protective and curative fungicide controlling many fungal
diseases of crops.
Toxic to fish.
Phycomycetes fungi are not controlled.
Harmless to bees.
Minimum period of two weeks between application and harvest
Extension Leaflet No 6 (Apple Scab); No 30 (Apple Blotch)
Chlorpyrifos (Dursban, Lorsban, Durmate, etc.)

Classification: Organophosphorous insecticide.

Formulation: 20% a.i. EC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50:136 mg/kg ; II, Moderately Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: II
Properties and Use: This insecticide is primarily effective by contact action and as a stomach
poison. The persistence on leaves is rather short but it may remain effective in the soil for
several weeks. It is widely used against a large array of insect pest and their larvae.
Prevent skin contact with the concentrated and formulated insecticide.
Avoid inhalation of spray.
No systemic action.
Toxic to birds, fish and aquatic invertebrates.
Minimum period of two weeks between application and harvesting.
Antidote: Atropine.
Extension Leaflet: No 2 (Woolly Aphid), No 3 (Leaf Beetles), No 7 (Apple Fruit Borer), No
11 (Two Spotted Apple Beetle), No 12 (Green Apple Weevil), No 15 (Ants), No 18 (Flat
Spiny Caterpillar), No 20 (Cutworms), No 22 (Apple Fruit Beetles), No 24 (Cabbage Aphid),
No 25 (White Shield Bug), No 33 (Potato Tuber Moth), No 34 (Vine Weevil)
Copper oxychloride (Cupravit, Fytolan, Cuprastar etc.)
Classification: Copper fungicide.
Formulation: 50% a.i.WP.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 1440mg/kg; III, Slightly Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: An inorganic copper compound used as a foliage fungicide to prevent or
to control foliar diseases including potato blights, die-back etc.
Corrosive to iron.
Thorough coverage necessary for good results.
Avoid excessive skin contact with concentrate.
Toxic to fish.
Minimum period of three weeks between application and harvesting.
Extension Leaflet No 4 (Chilli Blight)
Cypermethrin (Ripcord, Cymbush, Sherpa, etc.)
Classification: Pyrethroid insecticide.
Formulation:10 % a.i. EC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 250 mg/kg; II, Moderately Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: III
Properties and Use: A broad-spectrum insecticide with a high contact and non-systemic
stomach action and a fast knockdown activity. Effective against a wide range of insect pests,
particularly leaf and fruit eating caterpillars, sucking pests and beetles in fruit, vegetables and
other crops.
Avoid contact of the concentrate with the skin.
Good spray coverage is essential, since it has no systemic activity.
Do not inhale spray mist.
Very toxic to fish.

Moderately toxic to bees.

Toxic to some predators.
Minimum period of 10 to 14 days between application and harvest.

Extension Leaflets: No 2 (Woolly Aphid), No3 (Leaf Beetles), No 11 (Two-spotted Apple

Beetle), No12 (Green Apple Weevil), No 18 (Flat Spiny Apple Weevil), No 21 (Harlequin
Bug), No 22 (Apple Fruit Rollers), No 23 (Cabbage Butterfly), No 24 (Cabbage Aphid), No
25 (Wheat Shield Bug), No 33 (Potato Tuber Moth)
Deltamethrin (Decis, K-Othrin, Calypso, etc.)
Classification: Pyrethroid insecticide.
Formulation: 2.8 a.i.% EC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 135g/kg.; II, Moderately Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to produce acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A broad-spectrum insecticide used as a contact and stomach-poison
providing control for up to three weeks. It has a rapid knock-down action.
Avoid direct contact of the concentrate with the skin.
Do not inhale spray mist
Good spray coverage is essential, since it has no systemic activity..
Very toxic to fish and aquatic life, bees and natural enemies.
Minimum period of one week between application and harvest.
Extension Leaflet: No 28 (Cabbage White Butterfly)
Dicofol (Kelthane, Colonel-S)
Classification: Acaricide.
Formulation: 18.5% a i. EC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 690 mg/kg; III, Slightly Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to produce acute hazard in normal use.
Properties: An acaricide effective against a wide range of mite pests without harmful effects
on insect predators and bees. It has a rapid killing action and a long residual effect.
Avoid skin contact with the concentrate.
Do not inhale spray drift.
Toxic to fish.
Safe for bees.
Minimum period of 7 days between application and harvest
Extension Leaflet: No 14 (Fruit Tree Red Spider)
Dimethoate (Rogor, Perfektion, Hexagor, etc.)
Classification: Organophophorous insecticide.
Formulation: 30% a i. EC
Toxicity And Toxicity Class: LD50:150mg/kg; II, Moderately Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: II
Properties and Use: A systemic and contact insecticide/acaricide with a broad spectrum of
activity,applied against sucking and leaf eating insect pests and against mites.
Avoid skin contact with the concentrate.

Avoid inhalation of spray mist.

Toxic to bees.
Toxic to fish.
A minimum period of 15 days between application and harvest.
Extension Leaflet: No 26 (Citrus Leaf Miner)
Edifenphos (Hinosan)
Classification: Fungicide.
Formulation: 50 % a.i. EC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50:150 mg/kg; I B, Highly Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: II
Properties and Use: A non-systemic protective and curative fungicide for the control of rice
A very toxic fungicide.
All safety recommendations should be strictly followed.
Toxic to fish.
No recommended period between application and harvest available.
Extension Leaflet: No 37( Rice Blast)
Fenvalerate (Sumicidin)
Classification: Pyrethroid insecticide
Formulation: 4% a i. DP.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 450mg/kg; II, Moderately Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: III
Properties and Use: A broad- spectrum insecticide acting by contact or as a stomach poison.
It has a rapid knock-down effect.
Avoid skin contact with the concentrate.
Avoid inhaling spray mist.
Good spray coverage essential, since it has no systemic activity.
Very toxic to fish and bees.
Some toxicity to birds.
Minimum interval of at least two weeks between application and
Extension Leaflets: No 19 (Bollworm), No 33 (Potato Tuber Moth)
Glyphosate (Roundup, Accord, etc.)
Classification: Herbicide.
Formulation: 41% a.i. EC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 4230 mg/kg; Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A post-emergence broad-spectrum systemic herbicide controlling most
perennial and annual weeds.
May cause eye and skin irritation.
Initial action is rather slow.

Extension Leaflet: In preparation.

Hexaconazole (Anvil)
Classification: Fungicide.
Formulation: 5% a.i. SC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 2180mg/kg; Unlikely to cause acute hazard in normal use.
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to cause acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A broad-spectrum systemic fungicide with preventative and curative
May cause eye irritation.
Minimum period of two weeks between application and treatment.
Extension Leaflets: No 28 (Himalayan Apple Rust)
Isoprothiolane (Fuji-one, Fudiolane)
Classification: Fungicide.
Formulation: 40% a.i. WP.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50:1190 mg/kg; III, Slightly Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to produce acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A systemic fungicide, translocated through both the leaves and the roots.
It can be used as a protective and as a curative fungicide. It has been introduced temporary in
Bhutan to control rice blast.
No recommended interval between application and harvesting available.
Extension Leaflet: No 37(Rice Blast)
Kasugamycin (Kasumin, KSM)
Classification: Fungicide.
Formulation: 71.2 % a.i.WP.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD5010.000 mg/kg; Unlikely to present acute toxicity in normal
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.

Properties and Use: An antibiotic compound with preventive and curative properties that is
used as a foliar systemic fungicide/bactericide. Temporary in use in Bhutan to control rice
A very safe fungicide.
Somewhat toxic to bees.
No recommended interval between harvest and application available.
Extension Leaflet: No 37(Rice Blast).
Malathion (Cythion, Celthion, Malathion, etc.)
Classification: Insecticide.
Formulation: 5 % a.i. .DP; 50% a.i..EC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50 :2100 mg/kg; III, Slightly hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulations: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A broad-spectrum insecticide with a rather low persistence and acting as
a contact and stomach poison. It is used to control a large array of insect pests of agricultural,
horticultural, veterinary and public health importance.
Avoid use of old stocks.
Toxic to bees.
Toxic to fish.
Minimum period of 7 days between application and harvest.
Extension Leaflets: No 1 (Chinese Citrus Fly); No 19 (Bollworm)
Mancozeb (Dithane M-5, Manzanate D, Manzeb)
Classification: Fungicide.
Formulations: 75% a, i. WP.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50 > 8000mg/kg; Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A broad-spectrum fungicide with protective and curative action, used to
control a large array of foliar diseases It is also used for seed treatment.
May irritate skin, eyes and nose.
A good spray coverage is essential.
Toxic to fish.
Minimum period of one week between application and harvest.
Extension Leaflets: No 6 (Apple Scab), No 15 (Small suckers and Sooty Mould), No 30
(Apple Blotch)
Metribuzin (Sencor, Lexone, Contrast, etc.)
Classification: Herbicide.
Formulation: 70% a.i. WP.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 2200mg/kg; Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A selective pre and post-emergence herbicide to control weeds in
selected crops.
Certain crops (crucifers, cucumbers and strawberries) are sensitive to
the herbicide.

Do not plant sensitive crops for four months.

Extension Leaflet: In preparation.
Oxyfluorfen (Koltar, Goal)
Classification: Herbicide.
Formulation: 23.5% a. i. EC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50:5000mg/kg.; Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A selective pre- and post-emergence herbicide to control weeds in
Toxic to fish.
Do not graze treated area.
More effective on broadleaves than on grasses.
Extension Leaflet: In preparation.
Pendimethalin ( Stomp, Gogosan)
Classification: Herbicide.
Formulation: 30% a.i. EC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50:1250 mg/kg; III, Slightly Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A pre-plant and pre-emergence herbicide to control weeds in rice and
More effective on grasses than on broad-leaved weeds.
Toxic to fish.
Do not store below 5C.
Extension Leaflet: In preparation.
Probenazole ( Oryzemate)
Classification: Fungicide.
Formulation: 8% a.i. GR.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD 50: 2030mg/kg; Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal
Toxicity class formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties and Use: A systemic fungicide/bactericide that is temporally introduced in Bhutan
to control rice blast. It should be applied 7 to 10 days before rice a blast outbreak. The
fungicide is taken up by the roots and moved upwards in the plant. Protection should last for
over a month
Paddy water should remain still for 4-5 days after application to achieve
Toxic to fish.
No recommended interval between application and harvest available.
Extension Leaflet: No 37 (Rice Blast)
Pyroquilon (Coratop, Fongoren)

Classification: Fungicide.
Formulation: 5% a.i. granules.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 320mg/kg; II, Moderately Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: Unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use.
Properties. A systemic protective fungicide with a long action temporally used in Bhutan to
control rice blast.
May cause eye and skin irritation.
No recommended interval between application and harvest available.
Extension Leaflet: No 37(Rice Blast)
Tricyclazole ( Bearn, Bim, Blascide)
Classification: Fungicide.
Formulation: 75% a.i.WP.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 305mg/kg; II, Moderately Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: II
Properties and Use: A systemic fungicide that is also taken up by the root system. It is
temporally used in Bhutan to control rice blast. It can be applied as a foliar spray, flat drench
on the soil or as seed treatment.
Not so suitable for transplanted rice.
No recommended interval between harvest and application available.
Extension Leaflet: No 37(Rice Blast)

Tridemorph (Calixin,etc.)
Classification: Fungicide.
Formulation: 80% EC.
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50:650 mg/kg; II, Moderately Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: III
Properties: A systemic fungicide with a preventive and curative action that is absorbed
by foliage and roots to control powdery mildew in citrus and apples.
May cause skin and eye irritation.
No recommended interval between application and harvest
Extension Leaflet: In preparation.
Classification: Acute rodenticide.
Formulation: 80-90% concentrates
Toxicity and Toxicity Class: LD50: 45mg/kg; I B, Highly Hazardous.
Toxicity Class Formulation: N. A.
Properties and Use: It is an acute or single dose poison, used in baits to control rats and
The concentrate and prepared baits are very toxic.
Strictly follow instructions given in Extension Leaflet.
Extension Leaflet: In preparation.