Applying Pesticides Safely

2019 Crop Production Clinic and Nebraska Crop Management Conference Proceedings

Applying Pesticides Safely

The world of pesticides is continually evolving. In spite of this, there are many basic principles that commercial and noncommercial applicators should always follow when handling or using pesticides.

It is vital to become familiar with a pesticide product and how to apply it properly by reading and following its label. The label also provides information about the necessary protective clothing needed when mixing and loading or applying that pesticide, and other precautions that should be taken, such as protecting non-targets like fish, bees, pets, wildlife, livestock, or endangered species. Proper storage, transportation, and disposal procedures for a pesticide also can be found there. Remember that the label is the law!

Ensuring the health and safety of applicators and workers is essential. Using personal protective equipment required by the label and following the Worker Protection Standard can help applicators and employers comply with pesticide laws and regulations. An applicator using proper notification procedures about restricted entry intervals and time of application provides the information necessary for an employer to inform and protect employees who may be working in a pesticide treated area. If there is an accidental poisoning or exposure, refer to the pesticide’s label for help, consult a medical professional, and call the Poison Center (800-222-1222), National Pesticide Information Center (800-858-7378), or other pesticide helpline to report the incident.

For more information on these and other related topics, see the following NebGuides and Extension Circulars:

The Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP), through University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, is responsible for developing and revising training programs and materials for the commercial/noncommercial applicator.  The UNL PSEP website offers a wide variety of resources for the pesticide applicator, including links to register for initial licensing and recertification training, to the NebGuides and Extension Circulars listed, and buy training manuals.

For more Information

  • Visit the Pesticide Safety Education Program website at
  • Call the Pesticide Safety Education Program Office toll-free at 800-627-7216 or 402-472-1632 for questions about training dates, study materials, or pesticide safety education.
  • Contact the Nebraska Department of Agriculture toll-free at 402-471-2394 for questions on regulatory issues, license status, or compliance interpretation.
  • Connect with PSEP on social media:



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