Private Pesticide Applicator Training Results in Safe Pesticide Use

Carol Pilcher, P&S, Entomology


Federal and State law requires that all people who purchase and apply restricted use pesticides and any applicator who applies pesticides for hire be certified according to established standards. Each year, Iowa State University Extension Pest Management and Environment Program (PME) develops and delivers training programs for private pesticide applicators that apply restricted use pesticides.  The training programs provide an immense measure of benefit to our public as each program addresses pertinent and emerging issues associated with safe and efficient pesticide use. 


The primary objective for the private pesticide applicator training was development and delivery of the following program modules:  Laws and Regulations (Certification Requirements, Iowa Bee Rule, Recordkeeping and Worker Protection Standard), Pesticides and Labels (Soybean Rust Section 18 Labels, Personal Protective Equipment, Fungicide Storage, Treated Seed and Agricultural Health Study), Safe Application Techniques, Corn Rootworm Variants, Soybean Rust Update 2005, Soybean Aphid Update 2005 and Emerging Weeds.


The private pesticide applicator training program conducted 247 (in all 99 counties throughout Iowa) meetings from December 2005 to April 2006.  Total attendance at these meetings was 17,793 participants.   A post-training evaluation indicated that the program was successful.  Overall, 96% of the respondents indicated that the program was excellent or good.  In addition, 96% of the respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the information presented at the meeting was useful for their farm operations.


To determine if the program had an impact on the participants, the evaluation examined specific areas to assess behavioral changes towards safer pesticide use practices. As a result of the program, 61% of the participants said they would make sure copies of Section 18 and Section 3 labels are in possession at the time of application, if using a Section 18 pesticide.  In addition, applicators stated that they planned to implement several key IPM practices.  Some of these IPM practices included: conduct scouting before spraying (n=154), calibrate sprayer (n=113) and keep better records (n=50).

In addition, this post-training evaluation examined if participants had indeed successfully implemented new pesticide safety activities, as a result of the previous year of private pesticide applicator training.  According to the respondents, 86% of the participants said that they now review the label of all chemicals for precautions to be observed when handling or mixing treated seed.

September 2006

143 - Pesticide Applicator Training

Page last updated: October 4, 2006
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