New application technology, novel crop protection chemistries and deposition aids are changing the way crop protection products are used and applied. With increased urban sprawl and interest in local food systems, vineyards and organic crop production there is a rise in public awareness and response to potential drift situations. All of this was a special focus of the Pesticide Stewardship Alliance’s (TPSA) annual conference in Albuquerque, N.M. in February.

An international array of speakers presented information on safe and effective pesticide applications at the conference. A few of the highlights included:

  • Tom Wolf, Ph.D., Agrimetrix Research and Training, provided information on how research and Extension organizations can help educate sprayer operators on best practices to reduce drift.
  • Ray Pigati, WinField, relayed information on the testing of pesticide adjuvants and the role they can play in reducing off-target spray movement and improving pest management.
  • Bob Wolf, Ph.D., Wolf Consulting & Research LLC, spoke on application strategies for reducing off-target pesticide movement and herbicide-tolerant crops.
  • Jan Langenakens, Ph.D., Advanced Agricultural Measurements Systems, Belgium, provided additional insight into improving sprayer performance.

Also discussed were emerging opportunities in the area of pesticide safety and stewardship. A leading area of interest was the newly revised EPA Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Information was presented on current WPS training and what is needed in the future, including a panel discussion on the resources needed and how to provide education to the individuals and businesses involved.

Personal protective equipment for pesticide applicators and spray drift label language and use issues were additional emerging topics covered at the conference.

TPSA is an organization bringing together academics, regulatory and industry in the same room to discuss and evaluate the concerns and advantages of the pesticide industry. For more information, visiti http://tpsalliance.org.