Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pesticide Regulation

I just posted the contents of an email of a long time friend and reader on Crop Talk. I am seeing more and more evidence of government scrutiny and regulation of all things environmental, which does affect agriculture greatly.

Would you, the average farmer or spray operator apply for this permit? We all spray near potentially running water and therefore I think we are all subject to the ruling. Even a "dry ditch" becomes a tributary in a heavy rainfall event.

I really don't want to apply for another permit and I imagine most will not. I do want to be covered in any "investigated report" that we may have sprayed near a body of water where pesticide could be claimed to cause damage to the quality or contents of the stream. The potential is there.

The potential should be very small most of the time so most won't concern themselves with this. Most of the herbicides we use only affect plants to any extent so I am not too concerned about fish kills or other wildlife effects.

"In accordance with the 1990 Farm Bill, all private applicators are required by law to keep record(s) of their federally restricted use pesticide (RUP) applications for a period of 2 years. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Pesticide Recordkeeping Program administers the Federal pesticide recordkeeping regulations through compliance and educational outreach activities."

We are licensed and we do keep records. We can always improve the record keeping and I need to ask the first point contact, our Ohio Department of Agriculture pesticide person what they look for in a spot check or investigated report.

I will keep you abreast of what I learn on the subject.

Enjoy the warm weather!

Ed Winkle


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  2. I work over at a GIS mapping software company, that offers a data collection package through MapItFast. and we run into the same problem with our farmland and weed sprayers. Even when they are the government, like municipalities, they are under heavy scrutiny from higher levels of government to show where they sprayed, what chemicals, are they licensed, etc... the name of the game in most of these cases is tracking. If you can walk the line, which can sometimes be razor thin, you can do what you need to do but still provide the information required of you.