Whether you are a homeowner, land manager or farmer, when you spray an herbicide, you are a pesticide applicator and must follow certain rules.
One of them is the Florida Organo-Auxin Herbicide Rule 5E-2.033. Organo-auxin herbicides can drift onto off-target plants if improperly managed. Tomato plants are especially sensitive to organo-auxin herbicides.
If you use these herbicides, you must take precautions to minimize potential drift. Active ingredients classified as organo-auxin herbicides are 2,4-D; 2,4,5-T; silvex; MCPA; 2,4-DP; MCPP; MCPB; dicamba; and triclopyr.
If you use one of these common herbicides, you must measure the wind speed and direction before you start spraying and do so hourly while spraying. Record and retain this information for areas less than 5 acres in size.
If you spray more than five acres, you must record and retain the following information for at least two years:
●Name and address of the owner, lessee or tenant controlling the land, and the applicator’s name and address.
●Site to be treated, site of herbicide mixing and loading area and description of application equipment used.
●Application date and time.
●Trade name, manufacturer, formulation, total amount of product to be applied per acre and amount of the product’s active ingredient applied per acre.
●Total acreage and crop or site treated.
●Average hourly wind speed and direction.
●Nozzle type, including gallons-per-minute rating, at specified pressure — usually 40 psi — and spray emission angle if applicable.
Adjust spray equipment to increase the droplet size coming from the sprayer nozzles. The larger the droplet, the less distance it will travel. Application pressures may not exceed 35 pounds per square inch. You must stop spraying if wind speed is more than 10 miles per hour.
This herbicide rule aims to reduce the risk of herbicide drifting onto someone else’s commercially produced plants, causing irreparable crop damage.
It’s all about being good neighbors.
•Volunteer income tax assistance: VITA sites are open in Crestview at the JobsPlus center on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Call 689-7823, ext. 219 for an appointment.
•4-H Camp registration: June 10-14, for youths ages 8-12. Cost: $220 per person. Contact Haley Worley, 689-5850 or email@example.com.
Jennifer Bearden is an agent at the Okaloosa County Extension office in Crestview.