UNL CropWatch: March 15, 2011 EPA Web-Distributed Labeling Pilot: An Opportunity to Provide Input

UNL CropWatch: March 15, 2011 EPA Web-Distributed Labeling Pilot: An Opportunity to Provide Input

March 15, 2011

The EPA is looking at a new way to make pesticide labels available to pesticide applicators via the Internet. Web-Distributed Labeling (WDL) is currently being evaluated for certain pesticides used in agricultural, professional turf, and rights-of-way applications.

EPA is encouraging pesticide applicators to test the WDL system and provide feedback.

The WDL is intended to ensure that label instructions are followed more carefully, resulting in a reduced risk of improper applications. The system provides a basic ingredient and safety information label directly on the pesticide container and a link to a WDL Website where the applicator can search for and download state-specific crop/site/use directions. The resulting information would be considered a legal pesticide label. If Internet access is not available, the applicator could use a toll-free number on the container label to obtain the specific use directions by mail or FAX.

Potential benefits of the system include:

  • shorter labels that are specific to the crop/site and state,
  • faster label revisions of new uses, and
  • the ability to adjust the text size.

Potential barriers include:

  • the lack of Internet or toll-free access for some applicators, and
  • potential increased demand on pesticide dealers or others to provide information to applicators. The required extra step could be inconvenient.

EPA Wants Your Feedback

EPA is evaluating the efficacy of WDL and would like pesticide applicator feedback. Pesticide applicators are encouraged to go to the WDL pilot Website and test the label search functions to create crop/site/use specific labels. After completing their search, applicators can complete a short, anonymous survey on the system’s feasibility and usefulness.

EPA will use the survey results to determine whether to move forward with web-distributed labeling.

Clyde Ogg, Extension Educator
Jan Hygnstrom, Project Coordinator
Erin Bauer, Extension Associate
Pierce Hansen, Extension Assistant