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BeSure! to Employ Best Practices When Spraying Pesticides

April 19, 2022

The Growing Matters coalition wants farmers and applicators to BeSure! they’re following field best practices while utilizing pesticides in order to protect themselves, pollinators and other wildlife.

To keep yourself, pollinators and nearby wildlife safe while spraying pesticides, BeSure! to follow best practices. The label is the best place to start as it provides important information, including how to properly store, use and dispose of products.

Applicators should also BeSure! to reread the product label for necessary precautions and use recommendations with every new purchase since they can change year-to-year.

Wondering what personal protective equipment you should be using in the field? The label also lists these details to help you cover any exposed skin. For example, applicators can stay safe by wearing the following garments while spraying and cleaning the equipment after use to avoid accidental exposure:

  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Protective goggles
  • Non-absorbent gloves

Before applying pesticides, be aware of the crop’s bloom stage and pollinator attractiveness. To avoid exposing insect pollinators to pesticides, strictly observe the application timing on the label relative to the blooming stage of the crop and other plants in the area. Labels note requirements necessary for correct and effective pesticide application conditions like wind speed, wind direction, temperature and relative humidity. Keeping these details top-of-mind, in addition to directed application timing, can help avoid accidental exposure to insect pollinators and other non-target pests in or near the treatment area.

Knowing where flowering plants and pollinator forage locations are in vicinity to your treated areas can help you establish appropriate buffer zones and calibrate equipment to minimize spray drift. Keeping product in the field and away from beneficial insect pollinators is the key to successful and safe integrated pest management programs.

You also are not alone in your effort to protect pollinators and their habitats. Cooperation and communication among other farmers, applicators, landowners, beekeepers, crop advisors and local officials in the area of application enables each of us to play a part in and contribute to shared pollinator stewardship efforts.

BeSure! to check out more best practices from the Growing Matters coalition. For additional information about foliar application best practices, please visit www.growingmatters.org/besure.

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