The facts on spraying safety!
Growing up in a farm family, on a grain farm none-the-less, every spring season I constantly saw big sprayers applying products to farm fields in my rural community and on my family’s farm. Even as I studied agriculture in college, I never really knew what that spraying was all about.
Well, for anyone who knows me, they know I like to ask a lot of questions! Growing up, every night after my dad came home from 16-18 hours a day in the fields, I’d bombard him with questions: How was planting today? How many acres of corn do you have left to plant? When can I ride in the buddy seat with you? and the questions went ON and ON and ON!
There’s one question I realize I didn’t bombard him with: Tell me about the spraying that took place in your fields today? All I knew about spraying was that I couldn’t walk my fair pigs around fields that were just sprayed, for a day or two–but I didn’t dig deeper as to WHY that was the case!
Now, as an adult, and just this morning I saw the fields next to my home being sprayed, and a few questions come to mind– such as when is it safe to walk on the road next to a field that has just been sprayed, or, when can I do yard work after the field next to my home has just been sprayed?
Working at Landmark has afforded me the opportunity to give a call to one of my agronomist friends for them to help me answer those lingering questions! Alas, Al McGuire, Agronomy Territory Account Manager to the rescue!
While visiting with Al, he shared with me that Landmark follows strict guidelines to ensure safety for everyone involved in and around fields being sprayed. All Landmark applicators hold custom applicator licenses and receive annual training on applying pesticides safely. Landmark follows spray rules set forth by the WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (ATCP 29) and it is policy to only apply pesticides in calm weather and when there is no chance for any of the pesticide to leave the field being sprayed.
The majority of chemicals used by Landmark have a restricted entry interval of 24 hours, according to the product label- this means no one should enter a field after it is sprayed for 24 hours. Al also shared with me that they communicate with the grower and landowner prior to spraying to discuss and mark sensative areas on the spray map, so applicators know those certain areas surrounding their fields. Furthermore, if conditions for spraying don’t meet the strict Landmark standards, the sprayers will not spray until it is safe for them to do so.
After visiting with Al I have learned that our Landmark team works hard to ensure safety for everyone involved! I now know that I can feel safe on my walk tonight, as the products they sprayed in the field next to my home this morning are only in the field, and have been sprayed by highly trained and skilled experts.
|Kristi Lange is Landmark Services Cooperative’s Communication and Events Coordinator. She has a love for agriculture, which started when she was young, growing up on her family’s 2,000 acre grain and show pig farm and carried through to her education at UW-Platteville studying AgriBusiness and Animal Science, and now in her career at Landmark. Kristi has a strong passion for telling the “agriculture story” and promoting agriculture education. Kristi can be contacted at 608.819.3126 or firstname.lastname@example.org|