Letters received from IDA (Illinois Dept. of Ag.)
If you haven't received your retest or renewal letter from the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA), you should soon. If you need to test this year, it will say so in sentence two. The "Instructions for Attending a Clinic" is really just a checklist of information you will need to know to get your license. Do not return it.
Your Social Security Number (not card) will be needed when you take the test. Testing is required every 3 years; however, Commercial (not Private) licenses must be renewed yearly (expire 12/31). For renewals, fill out the enclosed application form and mail the specified payment to IDA.
IDA does not take debit or credit cards. Some companies have expressed concern because they do not have a checking account. Alternate payment options include using a money order or personal check and being reimbursed. Universities may use account transfers. Please plan accordingly and allow for extra time that may be needed for paperwork.
For testing only (without training), it is recommended that you either attend a Test Only clinic or schedule an appointment with IDA at DeKalb or Springfield. Walk-ins for testing at training clinics will be seated as space allows. Attendance at training will guarantee a saved seat for testing.
Test early to have your license when you need it!
The IDA encourages applicators & operators to test early in the year and not wait until the last minute as there are hundreds of people taking exams each month.
Passing the exam does NOT make you licensed. You cannot apply pesticides until the IDA receives a check and a completed application. Afterwards, the IDA will mail your license to your employer's address. Only then are you licensed to apply pesticides.
Have a New Employer?
The IL Pesticide Act says you must inform IDA.
Important Testing Information
• For Training Clinics:
o Commercial (toll free) 800-644-2123 or 217-244-2123
o Private (toll free) 877-626-1650
o Website (Commercial and Private) www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu
• For Test Only Clinics:
o Commercial – (toll free) 800-644-2123 or 217-244-2123, www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu
o Private – Contact the individual site. For the name and number, refer to www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu. (Private Section)
• For Private Clinics: Training 8:00am-11:30am; Testing 11:45 am-2:00pm
• For Commercial Clinics: General Standards training 8:00am-11:30am; for categories and testing refer to www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu or the light purple/lavender color schedule booklet.
• Testing only (Private and Commercial both) is free
• Training Clinics:
o Private $30 (Online training is $15)
o Commercial $40
o Private $30.00
• Dealer $100
• Applicator $60
• Operator $40
• Public1 Applicator $20
• Public1 Operator $15
• Commercial not-for-hire2 Applicator $20
• Commercial not-for-hire2 Operator $15
1) Public Examples: County forest preserves, municipalities, public golf courses, etc.
2) Commercial Not-For-Hire Examples: Building services for corporate complexes, schools, grounds maintenance, private golf courses, large greenhouses, etc. (apply on property of their employer only).
Pesticides can pose risks in areas affected by high winds such as tornadoes when homes, garages and outbuildings are destroyed. Thoughts of pesticide contamination may not be in the forefront, but potential injury can exist.
Most homeowner pesticides aren't as toxic as commercial agriculture products. Still, the potential for injury is there. Wind and rain can significantly dilute products, but can also cause some problems especially with herbicides blowing wherever the winds take them.
A bigger problem occurs with broken pesticide containers and pooling products after a natural disaster. The goal should be to clean up the spill or damage as soon as possible, but also as safely as possible.
Products in broken, torn, or ripped containers should be considered contaminated and be prepared for disposal. If the container is undamaged, the product should be safe for use.
The following are some steps the PSEP team recommends to take when dealing with storm-damaged pesticides including broken containers and spills.
1. Wear proper protective clothing. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants, hats, shoes and socks are a must. Also, wear chemically-resistant gloves. Rubber boots may be practical as well. Leather and cotton gloves will absorb pesticides, keeping the pesticide in contact with the skin.
Chemically resistant gloves will be made of rubber, nitrile, TyVek or a heavy plastic. Wash gloves often in hot soapy water. Disposable gloves aren't meant to be washed. Once finished, wash clothes in hot soapy water by themselves, and line dry if possible.
2. Scout out the area. Get a handle on which products are present and problematic.
3. For broken containers with pesticides still inside, try to carefully transfer the liquids to another similar container. Watch out for jagged pieces of plastic or glass that might cut.
Do not mix different products together for disposal. Keep each product separate.
Clearly mark the new container as hazardous materials and dispose of it properly. Many tornado-ravaged communities will have a hazardous waste site.
The original packaging can be wrapped in several layers of newspapers and further smashed, then placed in a heavy duty garbage bag for disposal at a landfill. Do not burn pesticide containers.
4. Torn bags of pesticides can be double bagged for storage if no contamination with other pesticide products has occurred. If products have mixed, it's best to dispose of them in a manner similar to liquid products.
5. For pesticide spills, place absorbent material over the product. Absorbent material includes cotton batting, kitty litter, sawdust, or sweeping material. Soil, sand and peat moss can be used if none of the preceding is available. Old rags and newspapers can be used as a last resort.
Allow the product to be absorbed by the materials. Once absorbed, use a shovel or broom to place the materials in containers such as drums, tubs, or heavy-duty garbage bags. Clearly mark the containers as containing spilled pesticides and dispose of them at the hazardous waste collection site.
Do NOT distribute the spilled pesticide in the garden, yard, woods, ditch, or other areas. This can cause serious environmental problems.
For more information on pesticide safety, visit https://webs.extension.uiuc.edu/psep/ .
The size of the spray droplets created during an application plays a crucial role in both the efficacy of the application and the risk of drift. Small spray droplets provide better coverage, deposition, and retention. Their small size, however, means they are more easily moved by the wind and thus have a higher risk of drifting off target.
Larger spray droplets reduce coverage and can also have lower deposition and retention rate. They are more resistant to drifting off target though because of their larger size and thus greater weight. A dual goal of every pesticide application should be to provide maximum efficacy while minimizing the risk of drift as much as possible. To achieve this, the applicator must select the right droplet size for the pesticide product being applied and the targeted pest.
Spray droplets are measured by their diameter. The unit of measurement used is a micron. A micron is one millionth of a meter and is equal to one twenty-five thousandth of an inch. Droplets that are 100 microns in diameter and smaller are the most at risk for drift off-target during a pesticide application. The human hair is about 100 microns in diameter.
Not every droplet that comes out of a nozzle, however, is the same size. There is a range of droplet sizes, from the smallest to the largest. This range in droplet sizes produced by a nozzle is referred to as the droplet size spectrum. A common method used to describe the droplet spectrum of a nozzle is volume median diameter (VMD).
VMD is the droplet size at which half of the total spray volume coming out of the nozzle is contained in droplets that are larger and half of the spray volume is contained in droplets that are smaller. For example, a nozzle with a VMD of 510 Ám sprays out half of its total sprayed volume in droplets with a diameter greater than 510 Ám and the other half in droplets smaller than 510 Ám.
The most practical means of describing the droplet sizes produced by a nozzle is categories of droplet sizes based on the entire droplet size spectrum. The spray classification system used is the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Standard S-572.1: Spray Nozzle Classification by Droplet Spectra. This classification system has eight categories (from small to large): extremely fine (XF), very fine (VF), fine (F), medium (M), coarse (C), very coarse (VC), extremely coarse (XC), and ultra coarse (UC).
Table 1 shows the eight droplet spectrum categories and their VMD ranges. Keep in mind that even though a VMD range is given for each category, the classification is based on the entire droplet spectrum produced by a nozzle, not just the VMD. The VMD is given for reference.
The droplet spectrum categories are the best method for achieving a specific droplet size with your application. First, determine the droplet spectrum category you need by reading the pesticide label. Then use a nozzle catalog to select a nozzle type, size, and operating pressure that will produce that droplet category. By selecting the appropriate category based on the type and usage of a pesticide, you can be assured of getting acceptable results while at the same time keeping the risk of drift to a minimum.
When using a rate controller, however, pressure changes during the application as speed changes. This is because a change in speed requires a corresponding change in flow rate. With pressure-based flow control systems, that change in flow rate is achieved with a change in pressure.
The unintended consequence of this, however, is the change in droplet size that occurs when pressure is adjusted. An increase in pressure, which would occur when speed is increased, causes a decrease in droplet size. A decrease in pressure, which would occur when speed is decreased, causes an increase in droplet size. If the label calls for a very specific droplet size to be used during the application, it is quite possible that changes in droplet size caused by the variations in pressure during the application can make the application off label. Certainly the changes in droplet size affect both the efficacy of the application and the risk of drift.
To help applicators keep track of what is happening to their droplet size as they change speeds, TeeJet Technologies has released the Sentry 6120 Droplet Size Monitor. The Sentry 6120 is a combination of database and pressure sensor, which provides applicators will real time droplet spectrum information. The Droplet Size Monitor consists of a control unit with a suction cup attachment, a pressure sensor, and associated wiring.
The Droplet Size Monitor can be wired to the battery of your sprayer or you can use a lighter adapter for power. The only other wiring is from the pressure sensor to the control unit, which mounts via the suction attachment anywhere in the sprayer cab. The pressure sensor provides the control unit with the current pressure at the nozzle. The applicator enters the type of nozzle being used as well as its orifice size and fan angle.
By knowing the nozzle type, orifice size, fan angle, and pressure, the control unit determines, by accessing TeeJet's droplet spectrum database stored within the unit, the droplet spectrum category currently being created. The database contains all of the nozzle type, orifice size, and pressure droplet spectrum information that is found in TeeJet's catalog.
This information is displayed for the applicator on the screen of the control unit (Figure 1 - see the pictures please). At the top of the screen is the nozzle type and fan angle/orifice size designation. The center shows a diagram of the nozzle type currently selected to help verify the correct nozzle has been selected. To the right of the diagram is the current pressure; to the left is the current droplet spectrum. In Figure 1, the nozzle is a TT11004, it is being operated at 40 psi, and it is generating a coarse (C) droplet spectrum.
At the bottom of the is display is a diagram that shows the total pressure range for the nozzle selected, how the droplet spectrum will change along the pressure range, and a red diamond indicating the current pressure and droplet spectrum. This diagram helps the applicator see what will happen to the current droplet spectrum as pressure is increased or decreased from the current setting.
In Figure 1 (see the pictures please), for example, the red diamond indicates the pressure is at 40 psi with the coarse droplet spectrum. If pressure is increased, the droplet spectrum will continue to be coarse until about 67 psi, when it changes to a medium droplet spectrum, as indicated by the color yellow (see Table 1). If pressure decrease to 25 psi, the droplet spectrum gets larger, switching to very coarse (green).
The Sentry 6120 Droplet Size Monitor can help applicators keep track of their droplet spectrum while they are making an application. This helps to maintain the balance between efficacy and drift mitigation and is particularly useful when applying products that have a narrow list of droplet spectrums that can be used to make applications. One thing the Droplet Size Monitor can't measure, however, is the impact the spray solution has on the droplet size. That subject will be covered in a future article.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has announced a series of measures designed to protect bees and other pollinators from exposure to certain pesticide products. ODA is requiring specific label statements restricting use of products containing the active ingredients dinotefuran and imidacloprid while strengthening its outreach and education efforts to pesticide users regarding pollinator protection. The steps were outlined on November 21, 2013 at a hearing held by the House Interim Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
As a condition of annual registration for 2014, ODA is requiring an Oregon-specific label statement on dinotefuran and imidacloprid products being sold or distributed in the state that prohibits the application of these products on linden, basswood, or Tilia species. Bee deaths reported this year involved products containing these active ingredients applied to European linden trees. It appears the tree species' natural toxicity to bumblebees in combination with the pesticide contributed to the deaths.
The June 15, 2013 bumblebee kill in an Oregon shopping mall parking lot was reported in an earlier issue of this newsletter (http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ipr/i8657_829.html#123824). In that situation, silver lindens, Tilia tomentosa, had been sprayed with dinotefuran, sold as Safari. It was estimated that 50,000 bumblebees were killed. Lindens are toxic to bees, even though linden honey is highly prized. Silver linden has been shown in previous research to secrete bee toxic nectar in its flowers, possibly due to the sugar mannose in the nectar.
Apparently honey bees avoid linden's toxic effects by collecting nectar from the trees only during high nectar flows when the toxic effects are diluted. Bumblebees collect linden nectar throughout the flowering season, making them more likely to pick up toxic levels of nectar. Abnormally dry weather is likely to increase toxic effects with bees consuming more linden nectar and the linden nectar being more concentrated.
ODA has sent a letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting additional evaluation of these pesticide active ingredients and other neonicotinoids to determine if use limitations on a national basis should be considered.
ODA is expanding its educational efforts on pollinator protection to licensed pesticide applicators and the general public. For applicators, additional emphasis on pollinator protection will be included in the required testing and re-certification process to become licensed. Outreach to the general public will include information on ODA's website as well as brochures and other materials distributed through master gardener programs and retail outlets.
Oregon Department of Agriculture news release, slightly modified and with paragraphs 3 and 4 added by Phil Nixon
Negotiations began in late October to work out differences in agriculture policy in the House and Senate versions of the farm bill. The conference committee is charged with reaching an agreement on legislation to reauthorize agricultural programs for the next five years.
The House bill includes a provision that would increase monitoring and research of pollinator populations, and create a task force in the U.S. Department of Agriculture on bee health. The Senate bill does not include a comparable provision.
Another provision in the House bill would eliminate what they consider to be a redundant permitting requirement for pesticide users. The measure would repeal a requirement to obtain a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency to spray pesticides over water.
A related piece of legislation is the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013 which would amend federal law to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency or a state from requiring a permit for discharge of a pesticide into waterways. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved this bill in late October.
Slightly revised by Phil Nixon from Entomological Society of America Science Policy News published on November 4, 2013
As of early December 2013, 117 pesticide misuse complaints have been filed with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, of which 110 investigation reports had been submitted for review. Of these cases submitted for review, 69 cases were closed with no evidence of pesticide misuse.
The remaining cases resulted in 32 warning letters being issued and 17 administrative hearings being scheduled for violations of the Illinois Pesticide Act (either misuse or an applicator license violation) and the Lawn Care Products Application and Notice Act. Of the 17, 6 were in ag and 7 in lawn care.
There were slightly more misuse complaints in 2013 than in the previous year. In 2012, there were 94 formal complaints filed with 40 warning letters issued and 52 cases closed with no evidence of pesticide misuse. There were 4 administrative hearings.
Submitted by Michelle Wiesbrook, based on information from an Illinois Department of Agriculture report.
DriftWatch is a program intended to promote better communications between pesticide users and sensitive crop growers. It features a free internet-based geographic information system that allows growers to register the locations of their sensitive crop production areas and pesticide users to access those locations.
Every time a new field is added, the program sends an e-mail alert to applicators who have registered to use the site. The objectives are not only to reduce the potential for pesticide drift or accidental application of pesticides but also to increase awareness about Illinois' specialty crop production. Keep in mind, this site is not intended for homeowners, but rather managers and owners or commercial specialty crop fields and apiaries. Developed for Indiana producers, DriftWatch was adapted for use in Illinois in 2011.
The following table summarizes the participation rates of various sensitive crop producers as well as pesticide users during the first three years of program operation in Illinois and shows continued growth in almost all areas. Illinois is currently the second most active state in the DriftWatch program in terms of both program participation and website access. Illinois activity rates are just behind those of Indiana, which was the first state to utilize the program.
Personally, I expected to see the number of applicators to be a little higher. It could be that the registration process does not require an applicator license number. I'm not sure. However, the registration process is fast and easy.
Click on driftwatch.org to use this important tool and learn about all that it has to offer.
Submitted by Michelle Wiesbrook, based on information from an Illinois Department of Agriculture report.