Montana State University

MSU Extension offers a new pesticide performance MontGuide

January 31, 2014 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

Montana State University Extension's Pesticide Education Program is offering a new MontGuide about pesticide performance and water quality. Poor water quality can significantly reduce the efficacy of many pesticide products. 

The MontGuide, “Pesticides and Water Quality,” explains why pesticide applicators should always test their water for turbidity, pH and hardness prior to using a pesticide mixture. Because pesticide mixtures are often composed of greater than 95 percent spray solution, a slight variation in water quality can have a significant impact on pesticide performance. Water quality may vary due to acidity and alkalinity, minerals dissolved in water, or suspended soil particles (dirty water). The guide discusses areas of the state that encounter common water quality issues and solutions to overcome water quality limiting factors.

The four-page guide is written by Cecil Tharp, Extension pesticide education specialist in the MSU Department of Animal and Range Sciences, and Adam Sigler, Extension water quality associate specialist in the MSU Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences.

The MontGuide is free and is available from local MSU Extension offices. It may also be downloaded from the MSU pesticide education website at by selecting "References." Printed copies are available for the cost of shipping from MSU Extension publications. To order a printed copy, call (406) 994-3273, write to P.O. Box 172040, Bozeman, MT, 59717, or email

Contact: Cecil Tharp, MSU Extension pesticide education specialist, (406) 994-5067 or