The University of Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) has developed online Vegetable Crops training for commercial pesticide applicators in need of the Vegetable Crops category license from the IL Department of Agriculture.
The training covers four areas – Disease, Insects, Weed Management, and Application Equipment and Calibration. Each of the modules was developed to provide applicators with the knowledge needed to pass the Vegetable category exam.
Diseases deal with the common diseases of cucurbits, tomatoes and peppers, and sweet corn. The Insect module includes chewing and sucking insects, focusing on the pests for specific vegetables. Weed management deals with the issues involved with controlling weeds as well as a few weeds for identification. Application Equipment and Calibration deals with the current innovations in spray applications, and basic calibration equations.
The training takes 2 to 3 hours to complete, with most of the modules averaging 30 to 45 minutes. However, participants don't have to complete the training in one sitting. The system remembers what areas you have finished, and what needs to be accessed.
Additionally, participants can review any of the previously accessed modules.
The individual modules are interactive, and they are both voiced and scripted for the user's convenience. Links are provided for additional information.
Registration, including a $15 fee, is required to access the course.
The course was developed by the Pesticide Safety and Education Program staff including David Robson; Travis Cleveland; Phil Nixon; Scott Bretthauer; and Michelle Wiesbrook.
The reductions in honey bees and other pollinators in recent years have been making headlines in the mass media. There are a number of factors associated with these declines including loss of habitat, parasites, disease, genetics, poor nutrition, and pesticide exposure. Perhaps the biggest factor is loss of habitat.
Not only are urban areas expanding, eliminating some rural areas, but rural areas appear to have much less habitat for pollinators. The use of the broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate (Roundup and others) over GMO resistant crops has resulted in fewer "weeds" in crop fields to support pollinators. In addition, farmers appear to be mowing roadsides more than a couple of decades ago, and many broadleaf plants that serve as food sources for pollinators do not survive mowing.
Urban areas are also at fault with many landscapes having been transitioned away from flowering plants. Landscapes that consist of turf along with a few shrubs and trees are easier to maintain. Although some of the trees and shrubs are attractive to pollinators when blooming, they generally don't have as long of a blooming season as annual or perennial flowers.
Plants that are attractive to adult pollinating insects have shallow nectaries and abundant pollen. Many annual flowers fit these parameters. In a seed catalog, those annuals listed as being butterfly or bee friendly are good choices. The following trees, shrubs, and perennials are also appropriate and generally require less maintenance than annuals.
- American basswood
- Pussy willow
- Prairie rose
- Wild bergamot
- Purple giant hyssop
- Prairie blazing star
- New England aster
- Showy goldenrod
- Wild lupine
- Eastern waterleaf
- Spotted geranium
- Smooth penstemon
- Butterfly milkweed
- Purple prairie clover
- Eastern purple coneflower
- Riddell's goldenrod
A number of the above plants are also appropriate larval food plants such as pussy willow for viceroy butterflies and milkweeds for monarch butterflies. Several trees are food plants for the larvae of several butterflies. Honey bees and other bees feed their larvae pollen and nectar so the above plants also function as larval food plants. Wasps feed insects to their larvae, and the larvae of many adult beetle pollinators are also insect predators. Other pollinator beetle larvae live in rotting wood.
As you may recall, last year the insecticides dinotefuran and imidacloprid were involved in a few extensive bumblebee kills. We reported on these events and the resulting change in regulations in the March/April 2014, November/December 2013, September/October 2013, and July/August 2013 issues of this newsletter.
Restrictions on neonicotinoid insecticides have also made the news, first in Europe as we reported in the May/June 2013 issue. Now, potential restrictions in the United States are being discussed by members of Congress. Approximately 60 members sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on September 30, 2014 calling for further restrictions and/or suspensions of the use of neonicotinoids on bee-attractive crops and ornamental applications.
Many other policy changes were listed in the letter, including the possible re-categorization of commercial neonicotinoid products as restricted use. We will keep an eye on further developments.
On September 15, 2014, scientists with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) joined with the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and the Entomological Society of America (ESA) to recognize the 50-year anniversary of the national Land-Grant University Pesticide Safety Education Program. Although the program has evolved over the past 50 years, it remains the focal point for pesticide safety education throughout the United States.
The Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) had its genesis in 1964 to enhance pesticide label compliance and to develop the first training manuals. In the early years, the program was under the direction of each Land-Grant University's Cooperative Extension Program and was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 1970, USDA passed the safe-use education torch to the newly created U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which concentrated especially on safety issues on the farm and in other occupations.
In 1978, EPA classified the first 12 restricted-use pesticides (RUPs). Applicators were required to demonstrate competency to apply RUPs, and Pesticide Applicator Training (as PSEP was then called) served as the primary developer and deliverer to inform and educate on safe pesticide use.
The reach of the Pesticide Safety Education Program has expanded greatly over the years. There are many more RUPs, and many states now require whole categories of users to be certified, even if they do not apply RUPs. Examples include certification of hired applicators, public employees and those treating schools or aquatic environments. In fact, an estimated 40% of certified applicators in the U.S. today do not apply RUPs.
Though it once focused predominantly on the education of applicators controlling agricultural pests, PSEP now teaches applicators working in urban, natural, industrial and other settings. It provides training to those who control weeds, insects, disease-causing organisms, rodents and other pests in forests, structures, turf, ornamentals, rights-of-way, aquatic areas, and other important and sometimes unique "sites." These include food manufacturing and processing establishments, interior plantscapes, pet grooming, pools, public health, seed treatment, sewers, water sanitation, wood preservation and more. In addition, PSEP impacts more than one million pesticide users in the general public who apply pesticides in their homes and on their lawns, gardens, ornamentals, and pets.
Last year, approximately 900,000 certified applicators in the U.S. applied pesticides or supervised their use. Many more individuals who did not require certification under national statute sold, transported, stored, mixed, applied, disposed or were otherwise involved in the life-cycle management of pesticides. To reach all these audiences, PSEP and its not-for-profit partners provided in-person and on-line training sessions, distance education, manuals, brochures, presentations, and videos. Today you can surf the web for pesticide safety education in any state to locate resources developed by PSEP. These resources promote safe handling of pesticides and protection of applicators, workers, the general public, beneficial organisms, and the environment.
Everyone benefits from a strong National Pesticide Safety Education Program – the general public, the registrants whose products' availability depends on safe use, the applicators who must be competent in the safe use of pesticides, the expanded network of trainers educated by PSEP, and the regulatory agencies that enforce the law.
The recognition this program deserves is often muted, due to the increasing number of organizations and initiatives that erroneously equate pesticide safety education with promoting pesticide use. On its 50th anniversary, the WSSA, APS and ESA salute the Pesticide Safety Education Program in the Land-Grant Universities and in the territories for its many efforts to protect human health and the environment, as society continues its ongoing battle against pests.
Phil Nixon, slightly modified press release from WSSA, APS, and ESA
The following has been produced by the National Stakeholder Committee on Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) Funding. This is a national effort to supplant the drastically decreasing financial support of state PSEP's provided by USEPA. USEPA has provided funding for this program since 1974, but that has dwindled to almost nothing.
The University of Illinois PSEP program is supported by the Pesticide Control Fund allocation through the Illinois Department of Agriculture, pesticide clinic registration fees, pesticide manual income, and grants for specific purposes such as online training. About half of the state PSEP programs do not have these or similar sources of funding and are in threat of elimination.
The National Stakeholder Committee on PSEP Funding is made up of pesticide corporations, pest management service companies, other companies involved in pesticide use, associations of these companies and corporations, interest groups, and state PSEP programs trying to reverse this trend. I represent the University of Illinois PSEP on this committee. If you are interested in becoming part of this committee and effort, please contact me at email@example.com.
The following document should be useful to you in understanding the state and national role of PSEP and in justifying expenditures of finances and worker time to attend PSEP clinics.
Effective Land Grant University Pesticide Safety Education Programs:
Mission, Need, Requirements, Target Audiences, Goals, and Key Activities*
National Stakeholder Team for Pesticide Safety Education Program Funding
July 28, 2014
To protect human health and the environment by educating all appropriate audiences on the safe and legal handling of pesticides from purchase to use and/or disposal.
It is imperative that a strong, sustainable university extension Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) be in place to provide unbiased, science-based, effective training to:
1. almost one million pesticide applicators certified as private (e.g., farmers) and commercial (e.g., for-hire workforce, public employees),
2. certified technicians, consultants, and pesticide dealers,
3. many more non-certified users (e.g., agricultural handlers, Master Gardeners, home users), and
4. the expanded network of pesticide safety advocates in industry and government.
Training services that focus on pesticide laws and regulations, label comprehension, pesticide exposure, risk mitigation, personal protective equipment, pest control basics, product formulations, mixing/application principles, environmental stewardship, and protecting human health are necessary for the safe and legal use of these products.
Federal, State, and Indian Country Regulatory Requirements*
1. Certification and recertification (continuing education) of private and commercial applicators
2. Certification and recertification for other pesticide-related professionals, including but not limited to service technicians, dealers, agricultural handlers, consultants, and supervisors
1. Private business owners and employees working in areas such as agriculture, forestry, aquatic, urban landscapes, food-handling establishments, and institutions, or conducting residential pest management activities
2. Public employees working in/on schools, parks, government lands, rights of way, and waterways, and those protecting human health (e.g., mosquitoes)
3. The general public who are protecting their homes, landscapes, gardens, pets, and personal health.
4. University, state, tribal, and not-for-profit trainers who in-turn educate others in the safe and legal handling of pesticides
Minimize and manage the risks associated with the legal use of pesticides to reduce impacts caused by a wide range of pest species in various settings, including but not limited to:
1. Crops, landscapes, rights-of way, waterways, school grounds, parks:
? manage weeds, insects, plant pathogens, nematodes, rodents, birds, and wildlife
2. Neighborhoods, aquatic sites, food establishments, institutions:
? manage human disease organisms and their vectors (insects, rodents, and ticks)
3. Residences, businesses, public buildings, including the structure itself:
? manage wood-destroying organisms, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas and rodents
Impart knowledge and enhance skills, such as those listed below, to those responsible for using pesticides legally, properly, and safely:
1. Complying with regulations (state, federal, tribal) and enforcement
2. Reading, understanding, and following the pesticide label
3. Selecting, storing, mixing, handling, applying, and disposing of pesticides (and their containers)
4. Recognizing health concerns associated with pesticide exposure
5. Minimizing exposure through Personal Protective Equipment and strategies to protect applicators, workers, bystanders
6. Protecting food and feed supplies, water quality, pollinators, endangered species, etc.
7. Using methods and tools to minimize pesticide drift, volatility, runoff, and leaching
8. Preventing resistance to herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and rodenticides
9. Mixing and diluting pesticides, and calibrating application equipment
10. Recognizing the importance of proper pest identification.
Key Activities Provided by PSEPs
1. Certification and recertification training for certified applicators
- Clinics, hands-on workshops, and classes, including in-person and online
2. Master Gardener training classes, county fairs, and farm shows
3. Print and electronic resources
- Certification study manuals and other training manuals
- Fact sheets, web-based resources, presentations, and videos
- County Agent and Master Gardener training resources
Note: The network of pesticide safety educators shares resources with other programs and some national materials have been produced to reduce the efforts for producing similar works.
? The exact target audiences and activities of each Land Grant University Pesticide Safety Education Program vary.
Basics in Applied Agronomy provides participants with a
comprehensive background in soil and water
management, nutrient management, pest management,
and crop management. It is designed around the four
basic agronomic categories defined by the Certified
Crop Adviser Program (CCA), making it a good review
course for those participants preparing for the CCA
exams. The course also provides CCAs and Certified
Professional Agronomists (CPAg) a review of basic
agronomy along with 15 CEUs after successfully
completing the course.
CEUs Offered: Certified Crop Advisers or Certified
Professional Agronomists successfully completing the
course (attending lectures and passing quizzes) will receive
3 SW, 3 NM, 6 PM, and 3 CM CEUs.
Course Number: CPSC 199 NC (CRN: 99938)
Starting Date: Monday Evenings Beginning October 27, 2014
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Online through Blackboard Collaborate (blackboardcollaborate.com)
Class Dates: October 27; November 10, 17, 24; December 1, 8, 15, 29; January 1, 12, 19, 26
Course Fee: $500.00 flat fee (books not included)
Instructor: Dr. Howard M. Brown, University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences
Visit http://citl.illinois.edu/courses/section/120148/99938 for course description and textbook
Go to https://www-s.continuinged.uiuc.edu/ao/ncregistration/student/index.cfm to register
For additional information please contact Online & Continuing Education, by phone at 217-333-1462 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.