By Clint Thompson
The Using Pesticides Wisely (UPW) program will be offered in an online format this year, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The program has helped Georgia reduce pesticide drift complaints to the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. It will be held this week April 21-23 at various locations.
“Our Using Pesticides Wisely programs started in 2015. We are proud to say that every person in our state has been trained face to face. We appreciate the opportunity to communicate with our growers in that type of platform,” said University of Georgia Extension weed specialist Stanley Culpepper. He will provide a voiceover from UGA. “Obviously, everybody on planet Earth is influenced by this virus. So we had to adjust. We felt like the best way to adjust was for the Cooperative Extension Service, kudos to our county agents, to take the lead. We made the powerpoint presentations with voiceovers. That’s what will be presented during the trainings that’ll occur (this) week.”
UGA Extension and the Georgia Department of Agriculture created the UPW trainings in 2015. The Georgia Department of Agriculture will also have a representative as part of the presentations.
The state program is aimed at teaching farmers and other pesticide applicators how to properly apply pesticides. The number of pesticide drift complaints in Georgia to the Cooperative Extension Service have been reduced by 76% over the past five years, since the UPW trainings were implemented.
“If you’re going to apply the Dicamba products that are labeled for use in Dicamba in cotton or soybeans or you’re going to apply 2,4-D in their respective tolerant crops, you must have taken this training in 2019 or this year. You have to do that,” Culpepper said.”
Growers should choose one of the four webinar sessions and register for the date and time that works best for their schedule.
Session dates, times and registration links are:
- April 21, 10 a.m. – Host: Bulloch County Extension Coordinator Bill Tyson, 912-871-6130. Register here.
- April 22, 10 a.m. – Host: Laurens County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Raymond Joyce, 478-272-2277. Register here.
- April 23, 10 a.m. – Host: Early County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Coordinator Brian Cresswell, 229-723-3072. Register here.
- April 23, 6 p.m. – Host: Tift County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Justin Hand, 229-646-1413. Register here.