Three state entities have collaborated to create wall charts that offer critical information that all agricultural businesses with employees must know, including those handling any type of pesticide.
When using pesticides, “The label is the law,” says Jim Hollyer, program manager of the On-Farm Food Safety coaching program within the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR). The problem is that many farmers and workers do not know precisely what the laws regarding pesticides are, or how to navigate the terminology on the label.
Hollyer worked with CTAHR members Donna Meyer, Fred Brooks and Luisa Castro to create two wall reference charts for use on farms, nurseries, commercial forests and greenhouses where pesticides have been or are being applied. The project team also received assistance from other colleagues in the college and at the state Department of Agriculture’s Pesticides Branch, the Department of Health’s Sanitation Branch, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 in San Francisco.
“We wanted to give farmers and other agricultural pesticide applicators an information product that would help them protect their employees and use pesticides safely and effectively,” said Hollyer. For example, many farmers don’t know when to allow employees to reenter a sprayed field or what protective equipment the employees should wear. The wall charts teach them how to find this information for each pesticide.
An important aspect of pesticide safety is dosage—the concentration and amount of pesticide used—and target—which pests it controls, and on which crops. Hollyer says the point is to know “if the pesticide is legal to use, how much of the pesticide is allowed to be used, and then to apply it correctly.”
For chart pick-up locations, read the UH Mānoa news release.