Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Pesticide Record Keeping- An Essential Task!

Jesse Fulbright, MSU Liberty County Extension

In a world where everything is white with snow right now, thoughts of spring planting and spraying aren’t necessarily at the front of the to-do list.  However, just last week Extension offices received a black and white, spiral-bound 48-page booklet.  This booklet fulfills the legal requirements in that certified private pesticide applicators are required to keep records of all applications of restricted use pesticides.  This is referred to as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Record Keeping Requirements.  When I first came on as an Extension agent we had these booklets that we used to give out at grower meetings and they were very useful to have and to distribute.  Then, for some strange reason, they went out of print.  With the booklets being back in print, I wanted to talk about the advantages of having them be a part of your recordkeeping portfolio.

The objective of this booklet is to provide a simple method to manage each federal record keeping requirement for private pesticide applicators.  Keeping complete records can save money and improve farm management.  This booklet provides tables to fulfill each requirement, maps to sketch pesticide applications if needed, and instructions on calibrating sprayers.  This could include information regarding when you started and finished each application, the active ingredients you used, the brand name of the product, the site and crop description, the rate at which you applied the pesticide, the size of the treated area and the total amount applied.  All of this information is important to have on hand if you as a private pesticide applicator ever have your records inspected by the Montana Department of Agriculture.
Guidelines in this booklet are not intended to meet the pesticide record keeping requirements for Montana Commercial and Governmental applicators.  These professional applicators must record additional information.  For a copy of the Pesticide Record Keeping Handbook and Calibration Guide for Private Applicators, I would encourage you to contact your local county Extension office.

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