With a 75% reduction in drift complaints to University of Georgia Extension over the past five seasons, Georgia pesticide applicators have greatly improved on-target pesticide applications, a result of strong stewardship from all of Georgia’s agricultural family.
As a result of this success, the Georgia Department of Agriculture submitted dicamba labels to the EPA requesting flexibility for Georgia farmers and pesticide applicators in regard to the 2020 Using Pesticide Wisely trainings. The label has now become a reality.
- For 2020 in Georgia, applicators of Engenia, Fexapan, Tavium or XtendiMax who attended UPW training during 2019 are not required to attend the 2020 UPW training. But they are welcome and encouraged to attend.
- For Enlist One and Enlist Duo, those persons in charge of in-season applications to tolerant cotton and soybean who attended training during 2019 are not required to attend the 2020 UPW training, but all are welcome. Those who were not trained in 2019 are required to attend a 2020 training.
For those wanting confirmation regarding 2019 attendance, visit the GDA website (http://agr.georgia.gov/24c.aspx) and scroll down to the bottom clicking on the location attended last season.
Since UPW programs began in 2015, there is now an aggressive approach to train pesticide applicators intensely for dicamba, paraquat and insecticides. Georgia’s pesticide stewardship approach has clearly changed agriculture for the better; the collective goal to steward all pesticides by our agricultural family across the state is directly responsible for this success.
However, too much of a “good” thing is not always a good thing. States should have the authority to design and implement pesticide training programs as efforts from the federal level often lack the needed community involvement and cooperation required to make these programs sucessful.
As Georgia embarks on this unique opportunity, it is more important than ever to make wise decisions when applying all pesticides during 2020 proving states can make the correct pesticide training decisions.