Illinois Pesticide Review
November / December 2010
In This Issue
- PSEP Training and Testing Information - Good Things to Know for a Simplified Registration and Licensure Process
- David Robson is New PSEP Extension Specialist
- Spraying When it is Calm
- Bt Corn Suppresses European Corn Borer Areawide
- Updates on Fumigation Rules as of Nov. 9, 2010
- Updates on Pesticide Registration and Labels as of Nov. 9, 2010
PSEP Training and Testing Information - Good Things to Know for a Simplified Registration and Licensure Process
• 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.uiuc.edu
• For Test Only Clinics:
o Commercial – (toll free) 800-644-2123 or 217-244-2123, www.pesticidesafety.uiuc.edu
o Private – Contact the individual site. For the name and number, refer to www.pesticidesafety.uiuc.edu.
• For Private Clinics: Training 9A-12P; Testing 1P-3P
• For Commercial Clinics: General Standards training 8A-11:30A; for Categories and Testing refer to www.pesticidesafety.uiuc.edu or the green schedule booklet.
• Testing only (Private and Commercial both) is free
• Training Clinics:
o Private $30
o Commercial $40
o Private $30.00
• Dealer $100
• Applicator $60
• Operator $40
• Public1 Applicator $20 (NEW)
• Public1 Operator $15 (NEW)
• Commercial not-for-hire2 Applicator $20 (NEW)
• Commercial not-for-hire2 Operator $15 (NEW)
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).
Letters from IDA (Illinois Dept. of Ag.)
If you haven't received your retest (white paper) or renewal (colored paper) letter from the IDA, you should soon. If you need to test this year, it will say so in the second sentence.
Ignore the return envelope that was sent. 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.
Testing is required every three 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.
Certain licenses noted above now have fees associated with them. This was done to cover the cost of processing the licenses.
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. Training attendance will guarantee a saved seat for testing.
Test early to have your license when you need it!
The IDA encourages applicators & operators to take the 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 you are licensed to apply pesticides.
Have a New Employer?
The IL Pesticide Act says you must inform IDA.
David Robson is New PSEP Extension Specialist
David Robson is the newest member of the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois and will be working with the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) team as an Extension specialist with initial emphasis on horticulture issues. The PSEP team provides education to applicators throughout the state on pesticide use and the Worker Protection Standards.
Robson's background and education includes a B.S. degree in horticulture from Iowa State University and a Master's degree from the University of Illinois. He has been working out of the Springfield area for the past 30 years, first as a county Extension adviser and then as a regional educator with the Springfield Center.
Robson has assisted with commercial and private pesticide training throughout the state for the past 20 years. He is available to assist individuals with commercial and home horticulture issues. His address is:
David Robson, Extension Specialist–Pesticide Safety
University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences
1013 Plant Sciences Lab
1201 S. Dorner Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
Spraying When it is Calm
When it comes to spray drift, there are two major factors that influence the risk that drift will occur: spray droplet size and wind. In terms of spray droplet size, small spray droplets are lighter and more easily moved off-target by the wind.
Larger droplets are heavier and thus more resistant to movement by the wind. To reduce your risk of drift via droplet size management, you can select a nozzle designed to reduce small droplets, reduce pressure (for ground applications), use a larger orifice, or use a drift reduction additive.
Wind speed and direction both influence the risk of drift. The higher the wind speed, the higher the risk of drift and the farther spray droplets can travel. Wind direction is important, because spray will move off target in the direction the wind is blowing. Being aware of areas particularly sensitive to the pesticide you are spraying is critical to avoiding drift issues.
While high winds speeds often get the most attention in terms of drift, spraying when it is very calm can also dramatically increase the risk of drift. This may seem counter-intuitive, and in fact, many applicators mistakenly believe the best time to spray is early in the morning when there is no wind at all.
Seems logical, right? If wind causes drift to occur, then wouldn't the best time to spray be early in the morning when there is absolutely no wind? The answer is no and the reason is very small droplets.
Spray droplets are measured by their diameter in microns. As a reference, a human hair is roughly 100 microns in diameter. Water droplets in a mist have a diameter around 60 to 120 microns. Water droplets in fog have a diameter around 20 to 30 microns. Ask yourself this question: does fog that occurs early in the morning fall to the ground? The answer: no, it hangs in the air.
The same thing can occur with small spray droplets – those that are very small lack the weight required to carry them down to the target. If the temperature and humidity are such that these small droplets do not evaporate (i.e., lower temperatures and higher humidity), then they will eventually drift if they don't fall to the target or get dispersed upwards into the atmosphere.
This is why spraying with some wind can reduce the risk of drift. A light wind will help prevent spray droplets from simply hanging in the air in a condensed cloud. The wind can push the droplets down into the target or at least disperse them so they are not concentrated in a mass. When it is very calm, the small droplets remain condensed, and can slowly move off target, causing drift.
The calmness of the air is often referred to as atmospheric stability. Stable atmospheric conditions are very calm, with little air movement. Unstable atmospheric conditions are the opposite – air movement is present. There are two situations that lead to calm conditions. The first is very low wind speeds under which there is very little air movement and thus little or no dilution of the spray cloud. The second is a temperature inversion.
Under normal, middle-of-the-day conditions, the surface of the earth is warmed by solar radiation. The earth's surface radiates this heat upwards, heating the air above it. As altitude increases, the temperature of the air decreases. If you have ever traveled in the mountains, you know that as you move up in elevation through the mountains, it gets colder.
Since heat rises, the warm air near the earth's surface rises into the cooler air above it. This is called vertical air mixing. Vertical air mixing is important because in the absence of sufficient wind, this air movement will move small spray droplets upwards, preventing them from remaining near the application height in a condensed mass.
As the sun begins to set at the end of the day, it reaches a point where it no longer heats the earth's surface. At this point, the earth's surface, and the air directly above it, begins to cool.
However, the layers of air farther above the earth's surface are still warm from the transfer of heat upwards when the earth's surface was still radiating heat. This creates an inversion – a layer of cool air below a layer of warmer air. Since the cool air will not rise upward into the warmer air, there is no vertical air mixing at the height of the inversion.
An inversion will create very stable conditions, especially when combined with a lack of wind movement. These stable conditions increase the risk of drift because those small droplets, the ones similar in size to fog or a fine mist, remain suspended in the air in a concentrated mass and can slowly drift off target.
Typically an inversion will continue throughout the night. As the sun rises in the morning, it begins to heat the surface of the earth. Once heated, the surface again begins to radiate heat and warm the air above it. As this occurs, the inversion conditions are lifted and vertical air mixing begins once again.
So how do you know if there is an inversion present when you are planning to make an application? There are several ways to check for an inversion. One method is to generate smoke. Aerial applicators can use their aircraft smokers and watch how the smoke moves. For ground applicators, a smoke bomb can be used, or local industrial sites that generate smoke or dust plumes can be observed. If the smoke moves upward, there is likely no inversion present (figure 1). If the smoke just hangs in the air or if it moves upwards but then stops and begins to creep horizontally, there is likely an inversion present (figures 2 and 3).
Another way to check for an inversion is to take temperature readings at two different altitudes, one near the earth's surface and the second at a higher altitude.
If the temperature at the higher altitude is lower than the temperature near the surface, then a normal temperature profile exists and no inversion is present.
However, if the temperature at the higher altitude is warmer then the temperature at the surface, then inversion conditions exist and spraying should be delayed.
Measuring the temperature at two altitudes is, of course, difficult to do. Aerial applicators can use an onboard weather probe or a simple digital thermometer and fly at the two altitudes and read the temperatures.
If you don't have the ability to measure temperature at two different heights, then waiting until the temperature at the surface has risen at least 3 degrees Fahrenheit from the morning low temperature is a good way to make sure any inversion has lifted. This means that the earth's surface has likely been warmed to the point it is once again radiating heat upwards and creating vertical air mixing.
Another way to avoid problems associated with spraying during an inversion is to wait for the wind speed to increase sufficiently. Based on extensive research, the USDA-ARS Aerial Application Technology Group from College Station, TX and Stoneville, MS recommends waiting until wind speeds are at least 4 miles per hour if you think you are spraying during an inversion.
Even if a temperature inversion occurs, with the wind at least 4 mph there should be sufficient air mixing to prevent small spray droplets from remaining in a condensed cloud. Spraying at low wind speeds, those less than 4 miles per hour, can possibly be done safely, provided that the spraying does not occur during an inversion.
In summary, remember that very stable conditions, with little air movement, can create a high risk for drift. Spraying early in the morning when it is calm may actually increase your risk of drift, not lower it. It is safer to wait until an inversion has lifted and wind speed has increased slightly. This will help disperse small spray droplets and prevent them from moving off-target in a condensed cloud.
(Scott Bretthauer, University of Illinois, and Brad Fritz, USDA-ARS Aerial Application Research Group.)
Bt Corn Suppresses European Corn Borer Areawide
A study just published in the journal Science shows that transgenic corn's suppression of the European corn borer has saved Midwest farmers billions of dollars in the past decade.
Research conducted by several Midwest universities shows that suppression of this pest has saved $3.2 billion for corn growers in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin over the past 14 years with more than $2.4 billion of this total benefiting non-Bt corn growers. Comparable estimates for Iowa and Nebraska are $3.6 billion in total, with $1.9 billion accruing for non-Bt corn growers.
Transgenic corn is engineered to express insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Bt corn has become widely adopted in U.S. agriculture since its commercialization in 1996. In 2009, Bt corn constituted 63 percent of the U.S. crop.
Corn borer moths can't distinguish between Bt and non-Bt corn, so females lay eggs in both types of fields. Once eggs hatch in Bt corn, young borer larvae feed and die within 24 to 48 hours.
The major benefit of planting Bt corn is reduced yield losses, and Bt acres received this benefit after the growers paid Bt corn technology fees. But as a result of areawide pest suppression, non-Bt acres also experienced yield savings without the cost of Bt technology fees, and thus received more than half of the benefits from growing Bt corn in the region.
Although it was assumed that economic benefits were occurring even among producers who did not plant Bt hybrids, this study shows that the benefit is even greater than predicted.
Over the past several years, entomologists and corn producers have noticed very low densities of European corn borers in Illinois. In fact, Illinois densities have reached historic lows to the point where many are questioning its pest status.
Since the introduction of Bt corn, initially targeted primarily at the European corn borer, many entomologists and ecologists have wondered if population suppression over a large area would eventually occur. This research shows that areawide suppression has reduced the estimated $1 billion in annual losses caused previously by the European corn borer.
These results also provide incentives for growers to plant non-Bt corn in addition to Bt corn. Continued effectiveness of this technology depends on continued stewardship by producers to maintain non-Bt maize refuges to minimize the risk of evolution of Bt resistance in European corn borer and other pests.
The research report, entitled, "Areawide Suppression of European Corn Borer with Bt Maize Reaps Savings to Non-Bt Maize Growers," appeared in the October 8, 2010, edition of Science. The lead researcher is Bill Hutchison of the University of Minnesota. Collaborating authors include Eric Burkness and Roger Moon of the University of Minnesota, Paul Mitchell of the University of Wisconsin, Tim Leslie of Long Island University, Shelby Fleischer of Pennsylvania State University, Mark Abrahamson of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Krista Hamilton of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Kevin Steffey and Mike Gray of the University of Illinois, Rick Hellmich of USDA-ARS, Von Kaster of Syngenta Seeds Inc., Tom Hunt and Bob Wright of the University of Nebraska, Ken Pecinovsky of Iowa State University, Tom Rabaey of General Mills Inc., Brian Flood of Del Monte Foods and the late Earl Raun of Pest Management Company.(Phil Nixon, adapted from a University of Illinois news release featuring Mike Gray.)
Updates on Fumigation Rules as of Nov. 9, 2010
Risk mitigation measures for soil fumigants are to be deployed in order to: 1) reduce the potential for direct exposure to toxic concentrations, 2) reduce the likelihood of accidents and errors, 3) foster planning and compliance, and 4) assure appropriate response to exposed workers and bystanders.
Risk mitigation measures that are to be completed in 2010 include good agricultural practices (see below); new restricted use measures for metam sodium/potassium and dazomet; new handler protections that include changes in respiratory protection, tarp cutting and removal; and worker reentry restrictions.
Additional 2010 measures include safe handling information, rate reduction, and site limitation. Fumigation management plans and post application summaries as well as first responder, community outreach, and certified applicator training are supposed to be done in 2010 but are still in development.
The following measures are to be completed in 2011: buffer zone distances, credits and posting; emergency preparedness measures; handling difficult-to-evacuate sites; and notices to state lead agencies (in Illinois, this is the Illinois Department of Agriculture).
Good agricultural practices include application practices (generic or specific) that improve safety and efficacy. Some generic good agricultural practices include: ensuring that the soil moisture is appropriate for the soil type (determined by using USDA's Feel & Appearance Method or an instrument); preparing the soil properly so that there is good tilth (no large clods; if crop residue is present, it cannot interfere with soil seal); checking the soil temperature as it cannot exceed 90°F; and monitoring wind speed (working within label restrictions and inversion forecasts).
When you use a fumigant, be sure to document everything! Have a written, site-specific plan prepared before the fumigation begins. The plan is for all aspects of a safe and effective fumigation: help prevent accidents; ensure, demonstrate and verify compliance; and define procedures in case of accidents or unforeseen events.
The fumigation plan can be completed by the grower, commercial applicator, crop consultant, or others. The certified applicator in charge needs to verify the plan's accuracy and sign it.
The plan must be available to handlers, enforcement personnel, and emergency response personnel. It may cover an entire farm with common information in one location and separate documentation sections for information unique to each fumigant application.
(Information extracted by Jim Schuster, Extension Specialist, PSEP – Plant Pathology from notes provided by Seth Dibblee, SAI coordinator, U.S.EPA Region 5.)
Updates on Pesticide Registration and Labels as of Nov. 9, 2010
All active pesticide ingredients will be reviewed every 15 years. In 2010, all copper and carbamates were open for public comment. In 2011, some pyrethroids and the sulfonylureas will be open for public comment.
Resmethrin (multiple trade names) was voluntarily cancelled and the 180-day comment period closed on November 15, 2010. Endosulfan (Thionex™, Thiodan™) has also been voluntarily cancelled with a negotiated phase-out from 2012 to 2016. Aldicarb (Temik™) is already widely restricted in its voluntary cancellation. Fenoxycarb (Award™) is another voluntary cancellation.
Spirotetramat (Movento™) has been registered with additional label restrictions to protect honeybee larvae and broods. Flutriafol (TopGuard™) has a new conditional registration for use on apples (cedar apple rust, powdery mildew, quince rust, and scab).
(Information extracted by Jim Schuster, Extension Specialist, PSEP – Plant Pathology from notes provided by Seth Dibblee, SAI coordinator, U.S.EPA Region 5.)