- Author: Petr Kosina
To raise awareness of pesticide safety practices, February is celebrated as National Safety Education Month. This year the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program offers help to refresh your knowledge about safe and effective pesticide use. Two frequently sought-after online courses focused on proper pesticide use to avoid illegal residues and proper selection, use, and removal of personal protective equipment are offered for free during the month of February. Use code safety100 at checkout to get your continuing education units (CEU) for free.
Pesticides are among the most regulated chemicals in the country. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the use of pesticides. All pesticides must be registered with the EPA, and the agency requires a battery of scientific tests to determine the potential risk to humans and the environment.
Best practices for using pesticides safely start with reading the label before each pesticide application. How will reading the label help you? Pesticide labels answer most of the basic questions you need to know about the product, its safe application and handling. Always make applications in strict accordance with all label instructions. Following label instructions will ensure safe, effective, and cost-effective use of the pesticide. Apart from the label, it is important to know what your state regulations are because some state regulations that also have to be observed are not written into the label. Note that not all pesticides approved by the EPA and available for purchase in the United States can be used in California. California is one of the few states that have more strict pesticide regulations for certain pesticides than what is required by the EPA. Even if you have used a given pesticide in the past, make sure you have an up-to-date label, as EPA may occasionally change labels. To learn more about pesticide labels and how to extract information relevant to the specific setting and situation in order to apply pesticides safely, enroll in the online course Proper Pesticide Use to Avoid Illegal Residues. Pest management professionals will earn 2.0 hours of Laws & Regs CEUs.
Because pesticides have the potential to cause injury or illness to anyone working with them, it is important to wear personal protective equipment, or PPE, to reduce a person's exposure to pesticides. PPE includes clothing and certain devices worn to protect the human body from contact with pesticides or pesticide residues. Regular clothing is not considered PPE even though some pesticide labels may indicate that these specific items of regular work clothes can be worn during certain activities. All employees who handle pesticides in California are legally required to wear PPE. They must follow all PPE instructions on the pesticide label and follow all California laws and regulations. To learn how to select the proper PPE, use it, remove it, and dispose of it or clean and store it before, during, and after each incidence of pesticide handling and application, enroll in the online course Proper Selection, Use, and Removal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Pest management professionals will earn 1.5 hours of Laws &RegsCEUs.
Visit the UC IPM website to see all 22 online courses that are available for continuing education credit.
- Author: Cheryl Reynolds
We're pleased to announce that a new online course on managing ground squirrels and pocket gophers has been added to UC IPM's growing library of online training courses. This course consists of eight video segments recorded by Dr. Roger Baldwin, a University of California Cooperative Extension Specialist in Human-Wildlife Conflict Resolution. Originally presented in June of 2020 as part of the UC Ag Experts Talk webinar series, the course covers pest identification, types of damage they cause, and the importance of their biology and ecology.
If you are a pest management professional or grower interested in vertebrate pest management, then check out this course! You'll learn about current control strategies such as habitat modification, baiting options, fumigation, and trapping. The course content is free to anyone who wishes to view it. For those requiring a certificate of completion and continuing education units (CEUs), the regular cost is $20, but we are offering a reduced price of $10 through October 31, 2021. To receive the discount, enter the code SquirrelGopher50 in the voucher box when making the payment. Managing Ground Squirrels and Pocket Gophers has been approved by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) for 1 CEU in the Other category and also by Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) for 0.5 unit of IPM credit.
If you are a DPR license or certificate holder with a last name beginning with letters M through Z, then this will be your year to renew. Now is a good time to check out the other UC IPM online training courses offered. All are 50% off the regular price through October 31st.DPR will be sending out renewal packets in August and strongly suggests returning them by October so that your license or certificate can be renewed before it expires.
UC IPM not only offers courses accredited by DPR, but many courses are also approved by the California Structural Pest Control Board (SPCB), Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA), and the Arizona Department of Agriculture.
- Author: Cheryl A. Wilen
This is especially important if you are an organic grower or manage areas that are not supposed to be treated with synthetic herbicides
THE MESSAGE BELOW IS FROM THE California DEPARTMENT OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
CDFA ISSUES STOP USE NOTICE AND STATEWIDE QUARANTINE ON ORGANIC FERTILIZER AGRO GOLD WS
SACRAMENTO, December 4, 2020 – The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) today announced that a Stop Use notice and statewide quarantine have been issued for the organic fertilizer product AGRO GOLD WS to all organic operations registered in California. CDFA lab analysis of the product detected the presence of Diquat and Glyphosate, which are substances prohibited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program for use in organic production. Continued use of this product in organic production may jeopardize an operation's organic status.
Pursuant to authority under the California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC), Division 17, Chapter 10, CDFA's State Organic Program (SOP) in coordination with the Fertilizer Materials Inspection Program (FMIP) issued a Stop Use notice today for AGRO GOLD WS to all organic operations in California registered with the SOP. CDFA's FMIP also announced today that all California operations registered as organic in possession of AGRO GOLD WS must hold the product and contact CDFA for quarantine instructions on how to handle it.
AGRO GOLD WS is manufactured by Agro Research International, LLC. It has been distributed in a co-packaged box that also contains the product WEED SLAYER. CDFA continues to provide follow up to this investigation and is working with state and federal agencies. CDFA received a complaint about the AGRO GOLD WS product and program staff collected product samples from various locations to conduct lab analysis in CDFA's Center for Analytical Chemistry. FMIP is an industry-funded program that ensures consumers receive fertilizing materials that meet the quality and quantity guaranteed on the product label. Investigators located throughout the state conduct routine sampling and inspections, respond to consumer complaints, and enforce the laws and regulations that govern the manufacturing and distribution of fertilizing materials in California. CDFA's State Organic Program protects the organic label through enforcement, education and outreach.
If you are in possession of AGRO GOLD WS and seek additional information, please contact the Fertilizing Materials Inspection Program at FMIP@cdfa.ca.gov. Any appeal of the determination that this product violates the Food and Agricultural Code must be filed with the Fertilizing Materials Inspection Program no later than 15 days from receipt of the Stop Use notice and statewide quarantine. See Food and Agricultural Code section 14659.
Contact:Steve LyleDirector of Public AffairsCalifornia Department of Food and Agriculture916-654-0462
We're excited to announce that a brand-new online course on air blast spray calibration is now available. This course was developed by Lynn Wunderlich, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisor for the Central Sierra, and Franz Niederholzer, UCCE farm advisor for Colusa, Sutter, and Yuba counties. Are you a grower, pest control adviser, or pesticide applicator working in trees and vines? Then this course is for you! You will learn the basic principles of spray calibration, take a close look at the basic components of a sprayer, perform calculations needed for calibration, and take a look at how factors such as droplet size, nozzle type, and weather conditions influence drift and spray coverage. This course also explains the conditions for pesticide applications under the 2018 Pesticide Use Near Schoolsites regulation. Air Blast Spray Calibration has been approved by DPR for a total of 2.5 continuing education units (CEUs), including 0.5 hour of Pesticide Laws and Regulations and 2.0 hours of Other.
As fall approaches and 2020 winds down, it's time to complete your continuing education units and submit your California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) renewal packet. If you are a DPR license or certificate holder and your last name begins with the letters A through L, then 2020 is your year to renew. Renewing now guarantees a quick turnaround time and having enough time to resolve any problems before your license expires. DPR encourages all license holders to send in renewals November 1 to ensure license renewal by January 1, 2021. Why not check out what online courses the UC Statewide IPM Program (UC IPM) has to offer.
Four of UC IPM's most-wanted courses are offered at an early-bird price until November 1st! You can save an additional $20 by purchasing the 4-course bundle for only $85 rather than each course individually.
- Proper Pesticide Use to Avoid Illegal Residues (2 hours Laws and Regulations – early-bird price $40; full price $80)
- Proper Selection, Use, and Removal of Personal Protective Equipment (1.5 hours Laws and Regulations – early-bird price $30; full price $60)
- Pesticide Resistance (2 hours Other – early-bird price $20; full price $40)
- Pesticide Application Equipment and Calibration (1.5 hours Other – early-bird price $15; full price $30)
Many of our courses are now credited not only by DPR for continuing education hours, and also by the California Structural Pest Control Board (SPCB), Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA), and the Arizona Department of Agriculture.
Author: UC Integrated Pest Management Program
Have you had unexpected seeds show up in the mail? Unknown seeds could be invasive plants, contain invasive insects, or have plant disease causing agents. Here's what the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has to say about it.
APHIS Stakeholder Announcement July 28, 2020 (Language from their website)
USDA Investigates Packages of Unsolicited Seeds
USDA is aware that people across the country have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate the situation.
USDA urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their State plant regulatory official or APHIS State plant health director. Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.
At this time, [USDA does not] have any evidence indicating this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.
USDA is committed to preventing the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protecting U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds. Visit the APHIS' website to learn more about USDA's efforts to stop agricultural smuggling and promote trade compliance.
Cecilia Sequeira (301) 851-4054