Cooperative Extension Service to Offer Pesticide Application Clinics in February
LITTLE ROCK -- As the 2015 planting season approaches, Arkansas growers and professional pesticide applicators will have an early opportunity to brush up on new advances in pesticide technology.
Researchers and experts with the Division of Agriculture will present the clinics over four days in February, at four locations throughout the state.
Jason Davis, a Cooperative Extension Service application technologist in Newport, said the clinics will give presenters at the clinic an opportunity to talk about possible ramifications from the State Plant Board’s December decision to clear two new pesticide crop systems for use throughout Arkansas.
“In the agricultural community, we’ve got big changes coming down the pipeline with new crop technologies,” Davis said.
The new systems include Dow Agroscience’s new Enlist DuoTM(glyphosate, 2,4-D and choline) weed control system, which will be used with pesticide-tolerant soybeans, and Monsanto’s M1691 (dicamba) herbicides for weed control, which will be used with cotton.
With the new technologies come additional concerns about proper handling procedures, Davis said.
"When not applied properly, all pesticides have some potential to drift off target,” Davis said. “The concern is that these new technologies are more damaging to sensitive crops when drift does occur."
“Off-target drift” is the phenomenon of chemical vapors drifting away from their intended target, possibly into crops considered highly sensitive to a given chemical.
There are two forms of drift, Davis said: vapor drift and particle drift. Vapor drift is the evaporation and off-target re-deposition of pesticides after reaching its initial target, and is heavily influenced by a pesticide’s volatility and the applications environmental conditions. This has more to do with the chemical formulation and has little to do with how it's applied, Davis said.
Particle drift is the off-target movement of spray droplets through air currents before they hit their intended target, Davis said.
“Particle drift is largely controlled by equipment setup and good decisions on the part of the applicator,” Davis said. “This is the type of drift that we are concerned about and can control.”
Davis said that although the essential nature of problems faced by applicators haven’t changed, the emergence of the new crop technologies coincides with larger, faster-moving methods of applying chemical pesticides to large crop formations has created an important educational opportunity.
“With all these variables colliding, it’s a really good time to make sure our producers and applicators are all on the same page, as far as expectations and how these new technologies should be handled,” Davis said. “We’re really going to be discussing the conditions in which you should spray any pesticide, how you should handle these chemicals, and the cleaning out of tanks. So there’s going to be a lot of aspects that are universal to application.”
Large group presentations at each of the clinics will cover information on the new pesticide technologies, application tips for successful weed control, nozzle types, the use of electronics, equipment calibration, and the effects of various chemical mixes on drift, coverage and cleanup.
The clinics will also provide the opportunity to attend smaller breakout sessions covering topics including proper equipment cleaning procedures, spray demonstrations and the effect of tank mixing on chemical droplet size and drift.
The clinics offer an opportunity for commercial crop advisers to receive five hours of continuing education credit, Davis said. The clinics will not offer certification or re-certification for private or commercial applicators, individuals who are licensed to handle pesticides and other restricted-use chemicals.
The first clinic will be held Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Cotton Research Station in Marianna.
Other clinics will be held Feb. 18 at the Northeast Arkansas Fairgrounds in Jonesboro; Feb. 19 at the Conway County Fairgrounds in Morrilton; and Feb. 20 at the Men’s Center in McGehee.
Registration for each clinic will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the sessions will run from 9 a.m. until about 2:30 p.m. The events are free of charge, and a lunch will be provided at each event.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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By Ryan McGeeney
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service