Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey encouraged farmers and other pesticide applicators to take the necessary steps to prevent the risk of pesticide drift during this spraying season.
Applicators should evaluate factors such as wind speed, wind direction, temperature, spray pressure, nozzle height, any required set-backs and surrounding properties before they begin spraying a field to help prevent drift to non-target areas.
“Pesticides, whether they be herbicides, insecticides or fungicides, are important tools that help keep our crops healthy. However, it is critically important these products are used appropriately and do not impact neighbors,” Northey said.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Pesticide Bureau is responsible for responding to complaints and investigating potential misuse of pesticides.
Education and testing on the safe use of pesticides is administered to all licensed pesticide applicators by the Department in conjunction with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
It is important all applicators read and follow the label directions on any pesticide when using. Product labels give applicators information about safe handling, application rates, personal protective equipment needed, appropriate crops to be treated, tank mixes, avoiding drift and more.
It is a violation of state and federal law to use a pesticide in a manner inconsistent with label directions.
If there is concern about a specific pesticide misuse incident, Iowans can file an “Incident Report” with the Department’s Pesticide Bureau by phoning 515‐281‐8591 or by emailing the information to pesticides@IowaAgriculture.gov.