Pesticide and Field Record-Keeping App Available
By Maria Turner
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Iowa State University has developed a free pesticide and record-keeping app for iPads, Phones and Android users. It is called Pesticide and Field Records II and can be found on Apple's App Store or Google Play. The app includes Iowa products with EPA registration numbers in it but users can add additional products if they need to.
The app can link data across devices by logging in with the same email and password on multiple devices to sync data, meaning that you can use this with your phone and then sync data back to the office.
If you use and Android phone, download the Pesticide and Field Records app from Google Play®
If you use an iPhone, download the Pesticide and Field Records II app from the Apple® App Store®
The development of the app was partially funded by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and EPA Region 7.
Are You Following All of the Record-Keeping Requirements When Applying Dicamba on Soybeans?
By Maria Turner
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We have all read about the record number of dicamba related complaints that occurred in the 2019 growing season. When the Illinois Department of Agriculture investigates a complaint, they begin with the application records and if the applicator followed the label instructions of the products used. This year, one of the standout issues, of what would be considered a label violation, was that many did not complete a label required record sheet for each of the dicamba products for soybean (Engenia, Xtendimax, Tavium, and FeXapan). If you apply these products, please make yourself familiar with this requirement so that you won’t be in violation.
By the Illinois Pesticide Act, all applicators using a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP), must take and maintain records of their application for two years; recording who made the application, the product, the amount, the date and the location. So, what makes dicamba for soybeans so different from another restricted use pesticide? The four dicamba/auxin specific product labels require a record sheet to be completed within 72 hours after the application. These record sheets require applicators to record: conditions before application, target pest(s), sensitive downwind crops, the nozzles used, application timing, and spray specifics. There are roughly 21-22 items that need to be completed. This should not be confused with record-keeping requirements for RUP’s. The specific information required for traditional record-keeping on RUP’s includes the following:
- The name and the certification number of the certified applicator who applied or who supervised the application of the restricted use pesticides
- The pesticide product name and its U.S. EPA registration number
- The amount of chemical concentrate applied per unit (e.g., pounds or ounces per acre)
- The date of application (M/D/Y)
- The location of the application, followed by a concise description of the location (county, range, township, section or legal property description) and type of treatment (spot or broadcast).
The additional information required by the labels of the dicamba/auxin specific products (Engenia, Xtendimax, Tavium, and FeXapan) include:
- The date neighboring fields were surveyed for susceptible crops
- The name of sensitive crop registry consulted
- The date of dicamba or auxin specific training completed and provider
- The crop it was applied to
- The buffer distance calculation
- The size of the treated area
- The total amount applied
- The record of tank cleanout and procedure prior to use of dicamba
- The nozzle information (manufacturer brand, type, orifice size, and operating pressure)
- The application timing (burn down, pre-plant, at planting, pre-emergence, post-emergence)
- Date the crop was planted
- The spray information – at the start and finish must include time, air temperature, wind speed, wind direction, approved dicamba rate per acre, spray volume applied and tank-mix products (brand names, EPA#’s)
- The record of the spray system equipment cleanout (additional information might include date and method of cleanout before and after applications).
The product labels clearly stated the record keeping requirements. They were also included in the mandatory annual training for all applicators using Engenia, Xtendimax, Tavium, and FeXapan herbicides. Despite these facts, many applicators received label violations because they were not aware of, or ignored the label’s record keeping requirements. Be sure to complete all of the required records following each application. Product stewardship will be essential for dicamba to remain as an available tool for years to come.
The product manufacturers have record-keeping sheets available to help applicators remain compliant. Specific product records sheets can be found at the following links:
Tavium (Note: Currently the record sheet posted has 14 days listed. Watch for updates.)
The EPA’s Review of Glyphosate: Determinations for Human Health, the Environment and Label Changes
This EPA docket was summarized by Sarah Hughson
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The EPA has reviewed the registration for glyphosate. Scientific studies are periodically reviewed for all pesticides to make sure they meet the EPA’s standard of maintaining the pesticide’s function without unreasonable impacts on human health or the environment.
The EPA did not identify any risks to human health from glyphosate when applied as directed but they did incorporate some label changes for all glyphosate products to limit environmental impacts.
The following is a summary of the determinations and label changes for all glyphosate products made by the EPA.
Human Health Risks
The EPA assessed cancer and non-cancer risks to human health from all routes of exposure for all registered uses and did not identify any risks of concern when glyphosate was used according to the labeled directions. There was no dietary risk of concern for humans and there were no residential, non-occupational bystander or occupational risk of concern to people. They also concluded that no additional human health data is currently needed to make this determination.
No potential risk was identified for fish, aquatic invertebrates or amphibians when applied as described on the label. A low potential for risk was identified for birds and mammals. This risk is mainly posed by spray drift into their habitat. The EPA has made a number of label changes to limit the impact of spray drift.
While the EPA identified low adverse impacts on bees at the individual or colony levels, they determined that more research was needed to fully evaluate exposure when higher application rates are used.
A draft of the endangered species assessment is planned to be released later in 2020.
Spray Drift Management
The EPA is requiring label changes to reduce off-target spray drift that will be consistent across all glyphosate products. This is expected to reduce environmental exposure and risk to non-target plants and animals without reducing the benefit of glyphosate to applicators.
Label language will include changes to droplet size restrictions, removal of advisory statements for spray drift using airblast applications because it is not used in airblast applications, and updated swath displacement language for aerial applications.
The following spray drift reduction language is mandatory and will be included on all glyphosate products applied in a liquid spray application.
- “Applicators must not spray during temperature inversions.”
- “For ground boom applications, apply with the release height no more than 4 feet above the ground or crop canopy.”
- “For ground and/or aerial applications, select nozzle and pressure that deliver Medium or coarser droplets as indicated in nozzle manufacturer’s catalogues and in accordance with American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers Standard 572.1 (ASABE S572.1), unless tank-mixing with a pesticide product that requires use of a finer droplet size (ASABE S572.1). If a finer droplet size is used, applicators are required to use a fine or coarser droplet size (ASABE S572.1).”
- “For aerial applications, do not apply when wind speeds exceed 15 mph at the application site. If the wind speed is greater than 10 mph, the boom length must be 65% or less of the wingspan for fixed wing aircraft and 75% or less of the rotor blade diameter for helicopters. Otherwise, the boom length must be 75% or less of the wingspan for fixedwing aircraft and 90% or less of the rotor diameter for helicopters.”
- “For aerial applicators, if the windspeed is 10 miles per hour or less, applicators must use ½ swath displacement upwind at the downwind edge of the field. When the windspeed is between 11-15 miles per hour, applicators must use ¾ swath displacement upwind at the downwind edge of the field.”
- “For aerial applications, the release height must be no higher than 10 feet from the top of the ground or crop canopy, unless a greater application height is required for pilot safety.”
On updated labels, applicators will find language stating that only “medium” or coarser droplet sizes can be used when glyphosate is the sole active ingredient being applied. However, “fine” or coarser droplet sizes may be used when glyphosate is tank-mixed with other pesticides that require “fine” or coarser droplets, like insecticides. These statements are expected to eliminate the need for VMD (volume median diameter) information.
Maximum Application Parameters
The EPA is requiring that maximum application parameters be defined on the glyphosate labels, something that has not been required for all labels in the past. The goal of this decision was not to change the application rates but to provide clarity and consistency among the labels.
Statements for Aquatic Uses
Updated environmental hazard statements will be required on labels for aquatic uses so they are consistent with statements on newer pesticide labels. An additional statement will be added to the Directions for Use section on aquatic use labels directing users to apply glyphosate in strips to avoid oxygen depletion when weeds cover the total surface area of a water body.
Since many glyphosate labels do not provide instructions about crop rotation, the EPA is requiring that glyphosate labels now include a statement with crop rotation information. The statement should indicate that treated fields can be rotated to a labeled crop at any time or that the last glyphosate application must be made a minimum of 30 days before a field is rotated to a nonlabelled crop.
Pollinators and Other Non-target Organisms
The EPA is requiring a non-target organism advisory statement. “This product is toxic to plants and may adversely impact the forage and habitat of non-target organisms, including pollinators, in areas adjacent to the treated site. Protect the forage and habitat of non-target organisms by following label directions intended to minimize spray drift.”
Herbicide Resistance Management
Registrants will be required to provide growers and users with information and recommendations to slow the development and spread of herbicide resistant weeds.
To learn more about the specific details described in the EPA docket, including specific label phrasing for aquatic uses and maximum application parameters, please refer to the 2020 Environmental Protection Agency document, Glyphosate Interim Registration Review Decision Case Number 0178.
Common Pesticide License Questions
By Michelle Wiesbrook, adapted from an article originally written by Bruce Paulsrud
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Do I need a license to apply pesticides to my own land?
Answer: Yes, if you choose to use a restricted-use pesticide (RUP), you are required to show proof of license before you may buy the RUP. These products have an obvious “Restricted-Use Pesticide” statement at the top of the pesticide label. If the product is not a RUP, it is a general-use pesticide and, as a farmer or homeowner, you do not need a license to apply it to your own land or land you rent.
Do I need a license to apply fertilizer as part of my lawn-care business?
Answer: No, as long as the fertilizer does not contain a pesticide. Fertilizers of the “Weed-n-feed” and “Grub-n-Feed” type contain pesticides and, as a commercial applicator, you must be licensed to apply these products. Whether you apply pesticides or only fertilizers, you must post the turf area after application.
What is the difference between “Private,” “Commercial for Hire,” and “Commercial Not for Hire” pesticide license designations?
Answer: A Private Applicator license is required for persons who—for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity primarily intended for sale, consumption, propagation, or other use by humans or animals—use or supervise the use of a restricted-use pesticide (1) on property owned, rented, or leased by themselves or their employer, or (2) on no more than two neighbors’ farms as exchange for labor.
A Commercial for Hire Applicator or Operator license is required of persons who apply a pesticide (restricted or general use) for any purpose on property other than that owned, rented, or leased by themselves or by their employer. If you apply pesticides for profit, this license designation is appropriate for you.
A Commercial Not for Hire Applicator or Operator license is required of persons who apply pesticides (restricted or general use) for any purpose on the property of their employer when such activity is a requirement of the terms of employment and the application is limited to property under the control of the employer only. Examples include grain elevator managers and workers, rural electric company field personnel, railroad rights-of-way maintenance personnel, groundskeepers in public cemeteries and golf courses, park-district maintenance personnel, foresters (public land), mosquito-abatement-district personnel, county and township weed commissioners, groundskeepers of public establishments, State Department employees, state university and college employees, Extension educators, vocational agricultural teachers, and other public employees who apply pesticides as part of their job requirements.
I farm and operate a custom pesticide application business. Which license do I need?
Answer: If you use restricted-use pesticides on your farm, you must be licensed as a Private Applicator. In addition, for your custom application business, you must be licensed as a Commercial for Hire Pesticide Applicator.
I’m confused about the terms “Applicator” and “Operator.”
Answer: After you decide which license designation is appropriate for you (see above question), you need to decide if you should be listed as an Applicator or Operator. Simply stated, an Operator works under the direct supervision of their Applicator. To become an Operator, you must pass the General Standards exam. An Applicator must also pass this exam, plus one or more category exams (for example, Turf, Field Crops). Both Applicators and Operators are permitted to operate application equipment; handle, mix, and apply pesticides; store pesticides; and dispose of excess pesticides and containers. However, the Applicator must be accessible to his or her Operators when they are working with pesticides. If you work alone or are the only one in your company that applies pesticides, you must be licensed as an Applicator.
I have two Applicators where I work; one is licensed in Turf and the other in Ornamentals. As an Operator, may I apply pesticides to turf and trees?
Answer: Yes, but each Applicator’s license number must be listed on your operator’s license. If you want to add or change an Applicator, simply call the Illinois Department of Agriculture, (800)641-3934, and ask to have your paperwork and license changed.
Occasionally, I am asked to spray and kill the grass and weeds along fences and weeds growing driveways and parking lots. Which category do I need?
Answer: Although you may be spraying grass in these sites, the grass is not maintained as turf, so the turf license is not appropriate for these applications. For these jobs, you need the Rights-of-Way category. In addition, this category allows you to spray roadsides, electric powerlines, pipelines, railroads, and other rights-of-way sites.
I work at a grain elevator and several local farmers have asked me to fumigate their grain. Does my Commercial Not for Hire Grain Facility license allow this?
Answer: With your current license, you may not fumigate the farmer’s grain if the grain does not belong to your company. To custom fumigate, you need to be licensed through the Illinois Department of Public Health, (217)782-4674. A farmer who wishes to fumigate his or her own grain must be certified first as a Private Applicator and then certified in Grain Fumigation to purchase and use grain fumigants.
Is there any way I can take the test today before 12:30 or can I take my category tests on day 1 of this 2 day clinic?
Answer: Unfortunately, you cannot. It takes time for IDA to set up all the equipment and supplies needed for testing so they won't be ready until their published, schedule time. They can't make exceptions or chaos would ensue when everyone else expected the same. Thank you for understanding. Also, due to the large number of General Standards exams (up to 400) being given on day 1, it makes sense to focus on only one exam that day.
Can I take my category exam first and then worry about taking General Standards?
Answer: No. You should take category exams such as Field Crops and Turfgrass only after first successfully passing the General Standards exam.
I forgot my letter from IDA. Can I still take the test or do I need to go home to get it?
Answer: Yes you can still test without it but you will need to provide your social security number for the paper work instead of the USA Plants ID number provided on the letter. Your pesticide license may already contain that number, so check your wallet.
I'm between jobs right now. Can I still take the test and who do I write down as my employer?
Answer: Yes, you can still test. Simply write on the forms "seeking employment" for the employer's name. Once employed, call IDA with the new information.
Can I just use the calculator on my phone?
Answer: No. Only basic function calculators are allowed during testing. Phones have too many functions that lend to cheating. "Phone a friend" is an option on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" but not with pesticide testing.
National Pesticide Safety Education Month
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The development and publication of this newsletter has been supported with funding from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
Michelle Wiesbrook, Extension Specialist, Pesticide Safety Education
The Illinois Pesticide Review is published six times a year. For more information about pesticide safety or for more issues of this newsletter, please visit us at www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu. You can also reach us at 800-644-2123.
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