Pesticide stock planning and recording systems

   Pesticide stores should have a proper system of stock planning and should keep records of stocks received, held and issued. No more pesticide should be ordered than is required or than can be stored in an appropriate way. Major problems have been caused where there was no system or where the storekeeper had not been trained in, or failed to use, an existing system. Without a record system, orders for excessive quantities of pesticide can be made and the most recently received stock tends to be issued first because older stock is less accessible or the customer wants "fresh" pesticide.
   As pesticides have a limited shelf-life, it is essential that only sufficient pesticide is ordered for requirements and that issues are made on a "first in -first out"basis. If such a procedure is not followed, old, out-of-date stocks of pesticide accumulate in deteriorating containers, particularly in dark recesses of the store.
   Not only do these stocks represent a financial loss to the store-owner (government, marketing board, agricultural cooperative, pesticide wholesaler or retailer or individual farmer), but they also constitute a hazard to personnel working in the store and present an environmental problem when they are eventually disposed of.    The movement of chemicals into and out of the store must be carefully recorded. This information may also be required for emergency services, such as the fire brigade, in the event of a disaster so that the volume of pesticides involved can be assessed.

Record systems

   The record system adopted will depend on the size and function of the store and on the accounting requirements of the store-owner. Records should be kept separate from the pesticide store.

Small store

   No elaborate system is required or usually possible at the minimum level of, for example, a small-scale farmer storing only a few pesticides. But even the small-scale farmer should adhere to the following practices, which are essential in all pesticide stores of whatever size:

   In addition, the small-scale farmer should keep invoices, delivery notes or receipts obtained in connection with pesticide purchases separate from the store. This will enable the farmer to contact the pesticide supplier in the event of an emergency or if further advice is needed. The farmer should also have a supply of material safety data sheets, which the supplier or manufacturer can provide.

Large store

   Any store above the size of a small-scale farmer's will require some sort of formal records system. The system adopted depends on circumstances. Records should be kept separate from the pesticide stock so that they are not destroyed in the event of a major disaster (such as fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane or destruction during civil unrest).
   Records may be kept as sheets in a ledger or in card index form. Duplicate records adjacent to the stock itself may also be required, perhaps in simplified form. Again, a supply of material safety data sheets should be requested from the supplier or manufacturer.
   Records should be accurate and sufficiently detailed to enable a replacement storekeeper to take over responsibility without needing to refer to the previous storekeeper.
   Pesticides have a limited shelf-life, and stock batches bought at different times may vary in formulation and packaging. It is important that a completely separate record be allocated to each consignment of different pesticides as it is received by the store.
   The national authority responsible for the procurement of pesticides needs to be regularly updated on stocks kept in various locations in the country and stores should be able to supply this information.
   A possible layout for a pesticide store record sheet is given below. The store record sheet allows the progress of each consignment of a particular pesticide to be followed from receipt, through inspections, stocktaking and checking to issues, analysis of stock after the shelf-life has expired and disposal when deterioration has been established.
   Well-kept records are the sign of a properly run store and are essential for minimizing wastage of stock or damage caused by accidents. The store supervisor should ensure that there is an adequate system being followed by the storekeeper at all times. The storekeeper should be trained in the use of the records system and must be responsible for its upkeep.

Sample pesticide store stock record sheet

Pesticide group

Insecticide OP

Ref. no.

Inv 29/5[R3]

Common name


Trade name



% ec, 400 g/litre


Dow Elanco, USA

Quantity (agreed issuing quantity/package)

1 000 2.5-litre plastic containers

Primary packaging quantity

Four containers of 250 cartons

Date received

20 December 1994

Use-by date

1 December 1996

Notes (shelf-life; special storage conditions; inspection frequency)

Two-year shelf-life; keep cartons sealed; inspect every six months; look out for breakdown of plastic containers


Quantity issued (litres)

Balance in stock (litres)

Notes(stock inspection: notes on condition etc. storekeeper's initials)

25 December 1994


1 850


6 June 1995



Stock inspected; no damage. MRKL

10 June 1995

1 300


Stock check. MRKL

10 September 1995



Stock inspected; two containers leaking; disposed of. MRKL

30 September 1995




Record of disposal of outdated stock

Leak absorbed by sawdust and burnt, split containers relocated to store II and contents transferred

(MRKL are the storekeeper's initials)

Notes on the sample record sheet

Reference number Cross-reference should be made to the invoice or delivery note; location of the pesticide in the store (bin, shelf or row number).

Identification of the pesticide Pesticide group, common and trade names with details of formulation and concentration should all be recorded.

Source of the pesticide Where possible information on primary manufacturer or formulator, as well as local source, should be recorded (with local telephone number where available in case of emergency). Where the pesticide came from should also be recorded since many stocks are shifted around.

Packaging and issuing units These may differ; the pesticide may be in 200-litre metal drums or in 1-litre cans packed in boxes of 20 with sales or issues being made in units of the 1-litre can.

Date received Possibly the most important item of information; it is essential that this should be documented. It must also be recorded on the actual pesticide containers together with the use-by date (Figure 17).

Notes Information should be obtained from the supplier on shelf-life (use-by date), any special storage requirements, particular hazards and other details, which should be incorporated as instructions to the storekeeper on the record form.

Stock operation and management Details of receipts and issues must be meticulously recorded and records of periodic stock inspections should be kept initialled by the inspector. Careful notes should be made on the state of containers and contents at the time of inspection.

Disposal When outdated stock is eventually disposed of it should be recorded, with notes on the method of disposal of the pesticide and its containers, the location of dumps, etc.

FIGURE 17 - Storekeeper recording date of arrival and inspecting condition
of new stocks of pesticides, clipboard in hand