Welcome to our Blog!!

Posted on December 16th, 2009 by Sharon Gripp in Announcements

Sitting: Chris, Julie, Kerry, and Garo. Standing: Nick, Mike, Kelly, Bill, Kathy, and Sharon. (Taken 12/2010)

Welcome to the Penn State Pesticide Education Program blog. This is our first attempt at something like this so bear with us. We hope to have a new blog post at least once a week with topics such as: upcoming meetings/events, category specific topics, core topics, highlight someone we work with, promote a great resource, and maybe even have a few guest bloggers.

Got Stink Bugs? Answer a Survey and Get a Free Resource!

Posted on May 19th, 2014 by Sharon Gripp in Announcements

Are you a grower? Got stink bugs? StopBMSB needs your help!

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. Image by Steven Jacobs.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. Image by Steven Jacobs.

The Outreach Team for StopBMSB are surveying growers to assess the impact of the brown marmorated stink bug on crops and collecting information that will help them defeat this pest.

Receive a free Field Guide to Stink Bugs when you complete the 10-minute BMSB survey at https://cornell.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5ssnjXLNhvp6v1H. But hurry, the survey closes on June 30, 2014.

What is StopBMSB?

With funding from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative, a team of researchers from 10 institutions across the United States are working together to form a defense against the invasive pest brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). StopBMSB is working to find management solutions for growers, seeking strategies that will protect our food, our environment, and our farms.

Be sure to visit the StopBMSB website as they have lots great information and resources!

Other BMSB Resources

Pennsylvania BMSB Information, StopBMSB

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Information, Northeastern IPM Center

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Penn State Department of Entomology

Until next time,
Be Safe!

FREE Apps for Pest Management

Posted on May 5th, 2014 by Andrew Frankenfield in Applicators, General

The following information was provided to us from Andrew Frankenfield, a Penn State Extension Educator from Montgomery County. (Sharon Gripp added links and logos.)

Tank Mix Calculator logoTank Mix Calculator for iPhone + Android

This agriculture application is provided free for any farmer to use on their mobile device to quickly and easily generate a tank mix. Just enter your acreage, tank size, and carrier volume. Next, select your chemicals from our list or add your own. Tank Mix Calculator will then provide you with the number of loads required to spray your acreage, along with full and partial load mixes of the chemicals you selected.

TankMix App for iPhone onlyTankMix App logo

The DuPont TankMix Calculator Application lets you quickly and easily calculate how much product and water you need for effective applications based on your acreage or spray tank size. Choose from a wide selection of units of measure and work in either numerals or fractions.

Calibrate My Sprayer logoCalibrate My Sprayer for iPhone + Android

Improperly calibrated pesticide spraying equipment may cause either too little or too much pesticide to be applied. This free mobile app was created to aid in the proper calibration of spraying equipment. Simply select the type of sprayer you want to calibrate (Broadcast or Banded), insert values in each input box, select what you want the app to calculate (Volume/Area or Catch/Nozzle), and tap ‘Calculate’. Each input’s units can be customized by tapping the units. Sprayers can be saved with user-defined names.

Mix Tank for iPhone + Android and FS Adjuvants,FS Adjuvants logo which is a  very similar app for GROWMARK products for iPhone

Mix Tank is designed to assist agricultural applicators with the proper tank mixing sequence of crop protection products. Mix Tank also captures product use rates and application information with Mix Sheets and conveniently maintains accurate Spray Logs for easy record keeping. Download Mix Tank for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Tee Jet Technologies logoSpraySelect Tip Selection for iPhone and Android

The TeeJet Technologies SpraySelect App allows you to quickly and easily choose the proper tip or nozzle for your application. Just enter speed, spacing and your target rate, Select your drop size category and you have a list of tips that will work for your application. The right nozzle is just a few seconds away.

Here are some other useful apps.

NPIPM Soybean Guide logoNPIPM Soybean Guide for iPhone + Android

This guide is intended to provide current effective management options for insect and other arthropod pests affecting soybeans grown in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Kansas.

ID Weeds logoID Weeds for iPhone + Android

ID Weeds is produced by the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Division of Plant Science.

IRM Refuge Calculator logoIRM Refuge Calculator for iPhone + Android

The IRM refuge calculator is a tool intended to illustrate the appropriate refuge calculation, the quantity of standard seed bags to purchase for both trait and refuge, and possible planting configurations for planting certain corn products in the United States. This refuge calculator does not replace or supplement the applicable manufacturer’s IRM Grower Guide in any way. As a grower using this information, you are still obligated to understand and abide by the applicable IRM Grower Guide on planting and Insect Resistance Management.

Dry Grain Calculator logoDry Grain Calculator for iPhone + Android

Easily calculate the effect of less than optimal moisture levels in your grain. Should you deliver, dry or blend? Use Dry Grain Calculator to help decide.

Cash Grain Bids logoCash Grain Bids for iPhone + Android

See what your local grain elevators are paying. With AgWeb’s Cash Grain Bids app, simply input your ZIP code to find out cash bids and base levels in your area. Get bids from not one, but five elevators closest to you.

AgWeb for iPhone + AndroidAgWeb logo

Get the latest agribusiness news and advice. Read ag management news, farm business blogs and articles from one trusted source.

DTN/The Progressive Farmer for iPhone + Android

This app meets your information needs with access to award-winning agriculture news, commodity market data, and industry-specific weather intelligence.

Lancaster Farming logoLancaster Farming for iPhone + Android

This app will allow you to access Lancaster Farming’s award winning articles, videos and other features by a simple touch of a button.

Until next time,
Be Safe!

Private Applicators: Know Your Neighbors

Posted on April 28th, 2014 by Dave Scott in Applicators

This blog was written by Dave Scott, Chief of the Division of Health and Safety in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. This article also appeared in the January 2014 Pesticide Highlights newsletter.

Every year the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture receives pesticide related complaints – ranging from herbicide drift or misapplication to medical reactions to exposure – from people who live near areas where growers are applying pesticides. As an applicator, it is your responsibility to make sure you are using pesticides safely, and that means being aware of your neighbors.

The Department maintains a list of people who have provided medical verification of a sensitivity to pesticides. This list can be viewed online by PaPlants registered users under the “Programs” heading in the Hypersensitivity/Apiary Search” at https://www.PaPlants.state.pa.us. You can type in an address and see a listing of these individuals located within 5 miles of that location, or select your county and township for a larger area. Consider notifying individuals in the Hypersensitivity Registry before you apply any pesticides.

The Air Blast Sprayer Calibration Program Continues

Posted on April 21st, 2014 by Sharon Gripp in Announcements, Applicators

The Penn State Pesticide Education Program is excited to again offer boom sprayer and air blast sprayer calibrations for Pennsylvania growers who request them. Calibration of air blast sprayer (ABS) and boom sprayer equipment is the best way to ensure spray applications are effective, efficient, and economical. Poor spray coverage is the primary cause of reduced spray product performance. Regular care and maintenance will ensure the sprayer is residue-free and in good operating condition. The challenge with ABS calibration is accurately and efficiently collecting and comparing nozzle output.

An air blast sprayer demonstration.

An air blast sprayer demonstration.

Once Again, Master Gardeners Help Spread Poison Prevention Message

Posted on April 14th, 2014 by Kelly Over in Consumers, Places/Events

Kelly Over, our Educational Program Associate, wrote this follow-up blog about Poison Prevention Week. Kelly provides pesticide safety presentations and educational materials to Pennsylvania agricultural teachers and participates in our many consumer outreach events.

While our Pesticide Education Program teaches poison safety all year, this past month has been an especially important time for our poison prevention outreach as National Poison Prevention Week was in March. In 2014, we reached 12,000 students in 30 counties around the Commonwealth with our poison prevention program!  Our poison prevention efforts were recently highlighted in a Penn State News Story.

Our Pesticide Education Program staff delivered poison prevention programs to nearly 500 students in the Philadelphia School District. Our staff also presented programs in cooperation with intermediate units in Chester County and Philadelphia County, in which both parents and students heard the poison safety message. Since English might not have been the primary language used in the home, appropriate adaptations and translations were used to teach participants about the importance of identifying signal words, using Mr. Yuk, and knowing what do in case of an accidental poisoning.

We discussed signal words and Mr. Yuk with first grade students in the Philadelphia School District.

We discussed signal words and Mr. Yuk with first grade students in the Philadelphia School District.

Spring is Here; Get Ready for HHW Events!

Posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Sharon Gripp in Announcements, Consumers

In our January blogs, we talked about two waste disposal programs that are available in Pennsylvania: Household Hazardous Waste Program: Plan to Use It in 2014 and Some Changes for the CHEMSWEEP Program. Besides being great programs on their own, sometimes these two programs partner together. At these events, the CHEMSWEEP Program accepts all the pesticide products and assures their proper disposal. By doing this, the HHW program can accept more products and does not have to cover the pesticide disposal costs.

To participant in either program, you need to be a resident of the county where the event is being held. If you do not see your county on the list, other stand-alone HHW events will be held throughout the state–just check the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s HHW Collection Programs website. Check back because more events will most likely be added in the coming months.

2014 National Poison Prevention Week

Posted on March 20th, 2014 by Kelly Over in Consumers, General

Kelly Over, our Educational Program Associate, wrote this blog about Poison Prevention Week. Kelly provides pesticide safety presentations and educational materials to Pennsylvania agricultural teachers and participates in our many consumer outreach events.

It’s National Poison Prevention Week 2014! From March 16th-22nd, Poison Prevention Week is the time to evaluate the poison prevention practices in your home and be sure you know what to do in case of a poison emergency.

While we emphasize the importance of poison safety all year, we are excited to take the opportunity of Poison Prevention Week for a two-part blog series. In a future blog, we will highlight our Poison Prevention Program, which is being delivered to nearly 12,000 first grade students across Pennsylvania with the help of many educators, including Master Gardner volunteers. This week, we want to share several key poison safety messages.

Mr. Yuk Needs Your Help

Posted on March 17th, 2014 by Sharon Gripp in Consumers, General

This May 3, 2013 article by Dr. Michael J. Lynch is reprinted with permission. Kerry Richards and Julie Watson from our office took a road trip last week to meet with several people from the Pittsburgh Poison Center. This was an article that was shared with them and we thought it fit perfectly as a blog to kick off Poison Prevention Week. (Please note that we added the headings to break up the text.)

By Dr. Michael J. Lynch, medical director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center (www.upmc.com/services/poison-center).

As the parent of three children ages 6 and under, I am constantly vigilant of the dangers that surround them daily. Among the risks our kids face is exposure to toxic chemicals and to prescription and over-the-counter medications. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, accidental drug overdoses have surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.

While parents seek most of all to prevent poisoning and exposure to toxins, we also must prepare to respond when problems occur. We keep phone numbers for police, fire and ambulance services easily accessible. Another resource for residents of Western Pennsylvania is the Pittsburgh Poison Center. The familiar face of Mr. Yuk may even stare back at you from your refrigerator, containers of poisonous household supplies or the bulletin board at your pediatrician’s office.

March and April 2014 Pesticide Applicator Short Courses

Posted on February 25th, 2014 by Sharon Gripp in Announcements, Applicators

Pesticides are often a necessary tool to control pests on lawns and landscapes. In some instances, a homeowner may feel comfortable dealing with the pest situation on their own. Often times, a problem presents itself in the landscape in which a professional is needed to correct the pest problem. On those occasions, the professional may apply a pesticide.

Pennsylvania’s Pesticide Control Act of 1973 requires any individual who applies a pesticide application to a property not owned or rented by the applicator or their employer to have a commercial or public pesticide applicator certification. Not only should landscapers be licensed but also other professionals who apply pesticides in the landscape. Other professionals include state park employees and grounds supervisors of schools, athletic fields, and golf courses.

Categories Covered in the Short Course

To become certified, applicators must undergo testing to demonstrate that they are competent to handle and use pesticides. A few courses are available each year to help applicators prepare to take these certification exams. Penn State Extension is offering two Pesticide Applicator Short Courses in Clinton and Luzerne counties to assist green industry professionals in preparing for the following Pesticide Applicator Certification Exams:

  • CORE
  • Category 06: Ornamental and Shade Trees
  • Category 07: Lawn and Turf
  • Category 23: Parks and Schools Pest Control

Penn State’s Online Recert Credits Are For Everyone!

Posted on February 17th, 2014 by Sharon Gripp in Applicators

This blog idea was given to us by J. Craig Williams, a Penn State Extension Educator in Tioga county.

While on the road doing winter recertification meetings, J. Craig Williams, a Penn State extension educator in Tioga county, received a call from a farmer who needed one more CORE recertification credit but had conflicts attending the upcoming meetings in his area, Tioga county. Williams told the farmer he could take an online course to meet his credit requirement. Although the farmer needed a little help registering and paying, as this was his first-ever online course, Williams did receive an email from the farmer saying he enjoyed the “Emergency and Incident Response” course and sent the following photo of himself with his completion certificate. We just want to tell this farmer: Thanks for the feedback and Job well done!

First-time ever online customer shows off his earned Completion Certificate.