The TPSA Annual Conference Present Opportunities for Pesticide Stewardship

Kristine J. P. Schaefer, Ph.D.
Iowa State University Pesticide Safety Education Program
Phone: 515 294-4286

St. Louis, MO — The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) hosted its annual conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico in February, 2016. A special focus of the conference was on spray drift risk mitigation measures and improving application efficacy. 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.

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

  • Dr. Tom Wolf, Agrimetrix Research & 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.
  • Dr. Bob Wolf, Wolf Consulting & Research LLC., spoke on application strategies for reducing off-target pesticide movement and herbicide tolerant crops.
  • Dr. Jan Langenakens, Advanced Agricultural Measurement 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.