Pesticide Storage

I am currently studying for my private applicators exam and in doing so it has come to light that my pesticide storage practices are somewhat inadequate. So, one of my projects for this year is to come up with a better/safer way to store my ever-growing arsenal of spray materials.

The main thing I need to do is get all my spray chemicals to one area and get them in a labeled cabinet under lock and key. I also want to make a three-ring binder up that includes print-outs of all the MSDS sheets, chemical labels and a quick reference graph of sorts with the most pertinent info for each chemical(REI, PHI, mix ratio, any applicable restrictions, etc…). I know there will more than this, but it should be a good place to start.

For those of you storing multiple pesticides, care to share how you go about it?


Wondering if there are temperature concerns. Can storage temperatures too low or too high reduce effectivity of pesticides or too high temperature cause gas release? Also humidity issues, brought to mind from the recent deaths involving aluminum phosphide and water.


I have a small room in the corner of the barn with a locked door and a big “Pesticide Warning sign”. The pesticide room stays locked and because it’s insulated the temperature never gets below 32. In the room, the herbicides are stored together, the insecticides together and fungicides are stored together. The jugs for any chemicals in liquid form are placed in a big plastic bin as a safety measure in case of a leak, but I have never had a leaks.

All spray applications are recorded in the USDA Spray Record Keeping Manual. I like the manual because I can quickly check my rates and application dates from the previous year. It also has a section where you can record the name of the chemicals and the ingredients plus EPA number and assign it a number one time and then reference the number in future applications rather than the ingredients each time you spray. The manual has a column for PHI and I added a column REI. I also note how well the chemical worked at the applied rate for use next year. The original label for the chemical is kept in a plastic folder in the spray manual.

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Temperature is a concern of mine as well. Here is a PDF on the best info I’ve found so far.

JD - The list looks very comprehensive. I’m going to see which chemicals I use may have a problem with cold temperature. At this time, I only worry about a herbicide called Alion that can not tolerate cold weather. Its very expensive and comes in a quart container. A little goes a long way (3oz/acre) , so a quart last multiple years. Its not very toxic, so I store it in a bucket in my office.

Thanks for taking the time for posting your detailed reply, some good ideas in there. I particularly like the idea of putting the liquids in plastic bin.

I have a question for you on the room of the barn that you store your chemicals in. What material is the floor comprised of?

The study packet I have from Penn State strongly discourages storage in an area with a dirt or “porous wood” floor. The area I am considering has a wood floor.


My floor is concrete. It is somewhat absorbent because its not sealed or painted.

Are you taking the licensing exam for Pennsylvania? In my state of NC the exam was pretty easy. Just a few concepts and some basic math which were included in the study guide.


I am planning to take the Pennsylvania Private Applicators exam. I believe it is the same as the exam our commercial applicators take, but with it I will be limited to spraying on my own property and I will not be required to carry liability insurance. From what I am told it will be an open-book test lasting from one to two hours on any of the content included in the training books. Then once I have the license, I will be required to take 12 credits of updated training every three years to maintain it.