Extension Agents working with landowners in just about every area of agriculture, horticulture, or forestry production has a very common denominator, pesticides. Understanding, a pesticide is a substance used for destroying insects or other organisms harmful to cultivated plants or animals. So a pesticide can be either weeds or diseases within the production spectrum, not just insects.
Having established that fact, it makes Extension Agents task much easier when discussing pesticide rates, if the landowner or producer has calibrated spray equipment. I can guarantee you on each and every pesticide label you WILL find an amount per acre, or thousand square foot recommendation. These recommendations on the labels are from, in many cases, years of trials by the manufacturer, and should be taken literally. THE LABEL IS THE LAW!
Consequences of miss use of pesticides can result in the target pest not being controlled, resistant strands of insects or weeds, to resulting in a waste of money by applying too much, or not enough of the pesticide in use. Not to mention fines, bodily injury, or death.
The Winston County Extension office conducted a calibration and pesticide handling workshop last Thursday night at the Winston County Coliseum, to answer the question of how calibration is done correctly. MSU Extension staff members Mr. Gene Merkl, Pesticide Safety Instructor, and Dr. John Byrd, Extension Weed Scientist conducted the classroom, and hands on training to answer any and all questions about sprayer calibration.
The training consisted of calibrating a boom sprayer, as well as a boom-less sprayer. Instructors demonstrated the 1/128th acre, and 1/8th acre methods. These techniques are not hard, and will enable the applicator to safely, and correctly apply any pesticide at its most effective rate per acre.
The property ownership represented at this training consisted or more than 700 acres of agriculture production land in Winston County. Now these landowners when applying pesticides on these 700 plus acres will have the answer to the question, “Am I applying too much or not enough?”
I’d like to say a special thanks to Todd McCullough for allowing the use of the Winston Coliseum, and equipment. The program could not have been possible without this cooperation, and partnership.