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Avoid Pesticide Drift During Spraying Season
South Dakota Ag Connection - 05/16/2017

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) would like to remind pesticide applicators of drift risk during this spraying season.

Applicators should prevent risk of drift to non-target areas or susceptible crops and should evaluate factors such as wind speed, wind direction, temperature, spray pressure, nozzle height and surrounding properties before they begin spraying a field.

"Product labels give applicators information about safe handling, rates, personal protective equipment, labeled crops, susceptible crops, tank mixes, avoiding drift, weeds controlled and more," said Agricultural Services assistant director Tom Gere. "Reading the label of a pesticide is one of the most important things an applicator can do to get a job done correctly and safely."

Although pesticide applicators are trained to apply pesticides safely and products are labeled with instructions to prevent drift, occasionally damage occurs. SDDA receives complaint calls on pesticide drift, damage and a variety of other related incidents.

When is it appropriate to file a complaint?

- If damage has been done to the environment (trees, bushes etc.) or a non-target field because of spray drift

- If you notice pesticide drift occurring while an applicator is spraying

- A spill of over 25 gallons of liquid material or 500 lbs. dry material occurs

"A complaint must be filed within 30 days after the date the damage occurs," said Gere. "If a growing crop is allegedly damaged, the complaint must be filed with at least 75 percent of the crop still standing."

For more information, contact Gere at 605-773-4432.

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