Application academies continue this year

Special training for growers to apply pesticides is continuing to take place this year. This is the fourth consecutive year for the On Target Application Academy (OTAA) sponsored by BASF.

Custom applicators should be well versed in what is taught at the OTAA and using their knowledge to make applications several months of the year, but a refresher is always wise. Reminding growers is even more important because most growers only apply pesticides a few days per year, which can result in important information being forgot.

As application season has geared up for the 2016 year, hands-on OTAA training has been held and continue to be held across the country to demonstrate the ins-and-outs of nozzle technology, nozzle calibration and best practices for mitigating drift.

Since the start of February, BASF reports having worked with 1,385 growers, retailers and commercial applicators through the OTAA program. So far for the 2016 season, 20 OTAA training sessions have been held in 13 states, reaching growers and applicators in the Midwest, Northeast, Mid-South and Southwest.

From year to year, there is new technology to address in OTAA training. "Continued education and keeping up with changing technologies is crucial in this field, and OTAA helps growers and applicators stay ahead of the game," said Daniel Pepitone, product manager, market approach and grower tools, BASF, in explaining why BASF has continued with the OTAA since 2012.

Since the creation of OTAA, BASF has trained 13,400 growers and applicators on herbicide application best practices. In those four years, 158 training sessions were conducted in 31 states, representing a wide array of growers across the country.

So far in 2016, BASF reports surveys of attendees shows 97 percent of attendees felt better prepared to use and apply new technologies because they attended OTAA.

OTAA sessions are currently being scheduled throughout the 2016 season. More information about the program and upcoming events are at