Growing Matters: Remembering Applicator Safety

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The 2022 BeSure campaign from the Growing Matters Coalition centers on using crop protection safely and responsibly.  Protecting bees and other wildlife is a key element of best management practices. Along with pollinator health concerns, applicator safety is also another critical aspect of good stewardship. Craig Campbell, senior scientist for field R&D for Valent USA, said that safety should be the No. 1 consideration in any action taken on the farm.

“Regardless of the product being used, be sure to cover exposed skin, wear eye protection and closed-toe shoes, and use nonabsorbent gloves. Then when you’re done making the application, make sure to clean all those articles to avoid accidental exposure,” Campbell explained. “Depending on the product that’s being used, the label will outline additional safety precautions or personal protective equipment that has the nickname PPE on the label that should be worn when spraying.”

Label instructions incorporate health aspects of an application from a variety of different angles. Along with PPE considerations, there is also other important safety information listed on product labels. Environmental conditions such as wind speed and wind direction can also be detailed with safety parameters.

“A product label will provide guidance and also the certification requirements for an applicator to make sure that applicator is well trained to make that application safely. There’s much more on the label as well, including tips to help improve stewardship of pollinators and the environment,” said Campbell. “A crop protection product, on its label, will list precautions necessary to help ensure that the applicator, pollinators, and the environment itself are protected.”

Listen to Campbell’s full interview.

Growing Matters: Remembering Applicator Safety

This was a message from the BeSure campaign brought to you by the Growing Matters Coalition, an initiative reminding farmers and applicators to follow stewardship best practices to protect pollinators and other wildlife. Visit growingmatters.org/besure for more information.

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