Tips for Pesticide Application and Safety
As you start planting, it is important to consider what steps you can take to keep yourself and the environment safe.
- Check the label to see what personal protective equipment (PPE) is required and make sure you have the necessary items on hand. Reorder gloves if you’re running low and make sure you have good protective eyewear handy. (See the helpful video (at right) detailing the differences in gloves.) Even though you might have the PPE part of certain labels memorized by now, be sure to recheck the information in case some part of it may have changed.
- When inspecting and calibrating spray equipment, check each sprayer nozzles to make sure output is within 5% of the target application rate. If it isn't, clean or replace the nozzle to achieve the desired output. A detailed list of cleaning agents for herbicides is in the UNL Extension Guide for Weed Management (EC130, pages 51-53 in the 2013 edition). For more information on sprayer calibration and nozzle checks, view the video (at right): How to Calibrate an ATV Boomless Sprayer.
- Register with DriftWatch and be aware of sensitive sites in your area, such as vineyards, beehives, organic farms, etc. Both applicators and sensitive crop producers can register at DriftWatch (Nebraska). Once registered, producers are able to add their sensitive site(s) to the registry. Also, registered applicators are able to select a given area for which they receive notifications of new sensitive sites.
- Take steps to reduce drift — whether it’s selecting a nozzle that sprays coarse droplets, only spraying when the wind is between 3 and 10 mph, or not spraying during a temperature inversion. For more ideas see the UNL video (at right): Reducing Risk of Herbicide Drift Injury.
UNL Pesticide Education Program
Pierce Hansen, UNL Extension Assistant
Clyde Ogg, UNL Extension Educator
Erin Bauer, UNL Extension Associate
Jan Hygnstrom, UNL Extension Project Manager