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How much glyphosate is sprayed every year in forestry?

Category: Herbicide Operations

During the past decade, an average of 116,000 ha of publicly owned lands were treated with glyphosate herbicides each year. However, amounts used vary from province to province, and year to year based on the size of the harvested/replanted area. Forest Managers make these decisions after considering each factor affecting the forest regeneration cycle.

In Canada, an average of 116,000 ha of publicly owned forest lands have been reported as treated with glyphosate-based herbicides annually during the past decade (http://nfdp.ccfm.org/). Private land holdings are not included in this figure, suggesting that the total area treated may be closer to 150,000 ha per year. The typical use rate for glyphosate-based herbicides in conifer release programs is 1.9 kg of active ingredient/ha (Thompson et al. 2004).

Most areas that are planted to conifer trees, and many naturally regenerating areas targeted for conifer dominance will require some degree of tending to maintain conifer dominance and promote adequate growth. As such, as many as 444,000 ha require tending each growing season in Canada. Provinces such as Ontario and New Brunswick apply herbicides to about as much area as they plant, relying on alternative methods to tend additional area. In contrast, a provincial restriction on herbicide use in Crown forests was invoked in the province of Quebec in 2001 (Thiffault and Roy 2010), forcing virtually all tending there to be done without herbicides.