The 2017 Center for Disease Control (CDC) data shows 38 to 49 out of every 100,000 people reported exposure to pesticides. This translates to about 2,300 to 3,000 people exposed in one year. Aside from the rare accidental equipment rupture, most of these exposures are preventable. The haunting story of a wife daily laundering her husband's contaminated clothing, resulting in lung failure and eventual death, illustrates the importance of safe and effective pesticide usage to our loved ones and communities. Safety starts with continuing education to stay at the top of our game.
The need for private pesticide applicator training (PPAT) has never been more important for farmers. PPAT is required for agricultural producers who wish to purchase and use restricted use pesticide (RUPs) on land they own or rent. Following rules and regulations associated with pesticides use helps protect pesticide users from additional regulations that may be passed because of the misuse of pesticides and ensures public confidence in the agricultural industry.
Appropriate pesticide usage is a pillar of environmental stewardship in the agricultural industry. Benefits that link pesticide applicator training and licensing to the success of your operation, even for producers who only apply general use products, include:
- Keeping abreast of the latest pests and diseases in the region
- Getting updated on newly available or cancelled crop protection products and techniques
- Staying informed on current issues impacting agriculture and how you can help protect our industry's future
- Keeping pace with ever-changing regulations
- Learning when to take additional precautions beyond the label to minimize risk
- Reviewing the basics of pesticide application to maximize profits
Between the Covid 19 situation and changing EPA regulations, Missouri's PPAT program is in transition. Last year's mail-in study guide is no longer available. For 2022 there are two training options for the farming community, including in-person meetings and zoom sessions. Ask your county Extension office or check out our website for times and locations at: https://extension.missouri.edu/events/?programs=Pesticide+Applicator+Training&lpurl=%2fevents. If you have questions related to pest management, pesticide labels, application, selection, or use, please reach out to your local county Extension office. Together we can prosper and make Missouri outstanding!