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BeSure! to Apply Foliar Crop Protection Products Safely

April 7, 2022
crop rows with a sprayer driving through

The Growing Matters coalition is reminding farmers and applicators to read and follow the label, evaluate conditions before spraying and communicate with beekeepers to keep pollinators safe.

Foliar-applied crop protection products are an important aspect of a farmer’s integrated pest-management approach. Using best practices, foliar applications can help ensure a successful growing season by protecting crops from harmful threats.

When properly stewarded and applied correctly, crop protection products have the potential to boost yield and increase revenue – and this can all be done without endangering surrounding wildlife, like helpful insects and pollinators. That’s why the BeSure! stewardship-awareness campaign is here to remind growers to follow all label instructions and take other simple steps regarding foliar applications.

Labels can change frequently, so BeSure! to fully read and follow the label with every new product purchase each year. This will ensure that you’re applying the product correctly. With foliar applications, observing timing relative to the blooming stage of the crop and other plants in the area is imperative to reduce exposure and potential harm to various pollinator species.

Other considerations to keep in mind while evaluating application conditions are wind speed, wind direction, temperature and humidity. Refer back to the label for any specific crop protection product requirements.

Don’t hesitate to communicate with other farmers, applicators, beekeepers, crop advisors and local officials when using foliar applied crop protection products. FieldWatch and BeeCheck are also in your toolbox to help track bee hive colonies and keep products in the fields, away from non-target areas.

Having these conversations and utilizing such technologies will help clue you in if there are pollinator habitats or hives in vicinity to your fields. If this is the case, it’s helpful to plan your course of action in advance so you can establish appropriate buffers, no-spray zones and calibrate equipment to minimize spray drift.

By putting stewardship into action when using foliar applied crop protection products, you can maximize yield potential while protecting important pollinators in our ecosystem. For additional information about product stewardship, please visit www.growingmatters.org/besure.

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