WHEREAS studies by Alberta Environment estimate that homeowners use over five times more herbicide than municipalities, on a per area basis; and WHEREAS combined fertilizer/herbicide lawn care products release herbicide into the environment unnecessarily; and WHEREAS Alberta Environment has the authority to restrict the sale of domestic fertilizer/herbicide combination products; and WHEREAS the Landscape Alberta Nursery Trades Association supports a sales restriction of domestic fertilizer/herbicide combination products; and WHEREAS the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association supports a sales restriction of domestic fertilizer/herbicide combination products;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties ask the Province of Alberta to commence a public input process on a proposal to restrict the sale of domestic granular fertilizer/herbicide combination products to the public in the Province of Alberta.
Fertilizer/herbicide combination products are frequently used when no weeds exist in a lawn or prior to the emergence of weeds in the spring. Granular forms of these products are the least effective method of weed control with over 40% more 2,4-D applied relative to typical liquid formulations. Excess 2,4-D is susceptible to entry into air and water environments. Spot spraying for weeds is the most effective form of domestic weed control, if a homeowner is seeking to control aesthetic weeds.This resolution will NOT affect Alberta’s agricultural industry. Farmers do not use the granular fertilizer/herbicide combined products that would be affected. If they control weeds around their home site, they are more likely to use liquid tank rinse from field spraying for this purpose.It is NOT the objective of this resolution to eliminate domestic herbicide products, only to restrict those fertilizer/herbicide formulations that are less efficient due to their combination, and most likely to release herbicide into the environment unnecessarily. The public would NOT lose access to products to control dandelions and other broadleaf “weeds.” Ready mix liquid formulations and concentrates would still be available with the active ingredients of 2,4-D, Mecoprop and Dicamba.The number of “5 times more herbicide than municipalities” is based upon sales records from 2003 in our two major cities and is a conservative estimate.In 2004 the Province of Quebec banned the sale of fertilizer/herbicide combined products. In 2006 the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador banned the sale of fertilizer/herbicide combined products.
The AAMDC has no current resolutions or background pertaining to this issue.
In November 2008, Environment Minister Rob Renner announced that beginning January 1, 2010, herbicide-fertilizer combination products will no longer be sold in Alberta. Products intended for spot application to weeds will still be available for sale and use. This ban is intended to help protect the quality of water downstream from urban areas. The decision to ban weed and feed will not impact the agriculture sector or the landscaping industry since these products are almost exclusively used on homeowners lawns.