January 19, 2008
Yes, as far-fetched as it sounds, a California company, Cal Crop, U.S.A. introduced a line of Spray Adjuvants containing garlic extract, as an insect repellent.
Cal Crop U.S.A. has been producing bio-rational products for the organic and commercial grower markets for six years and now they have launched three additives to enhance spray deposition and performance.
An organic acidulant and buffering agent for lowering pH and is based on citric acid with calcium and garlic extract technology. It is really a “breath of fresh air” since it does not use corrosive mineral acids that can damage spray equipment.
All natural and “mix-friendly” by using citric acid, it gets away from those so-called “Yuppie” buffers and acidifiers that claim to change colors and do all sorts of other things while they are supposedly treating your spray water.
A non-ionic surfactant, is a unique blend of low foaming, slow drying and biodegradable surfactants formulated with garlic extracts for increased systemic performance. It can be used with herbicides, defoliants, desiccants, insecticides, fungicides, acaracides, plant growth regulators and nutritionals.
This makes it an all-purpose adjuvant, safe to use and with the added feature that it might even repel some insects!
A blend of slow drying, penetrating methylated seed oil and organosilicone surfactants formulated with garlic extracts for increased systemic performance. Havoc’s chemistry allows for enhanced wetting and systemic absorption of those products which labels recommend adding an adjuvant to improve performance.
Adding Havoc to the tank will result in a more uniform spray deposition as it physically modifies the wetting and spreading characteristics of the spray solution.
This is a targeted-use surfactant specifically designed for low application rates (2 to 20 gpa) where superior coverage, slow drying and good penetration is desired in low humidity and high temperature conditions. Recommended for both ground and aerial applications.
The addition of garlic extract to the surfactants is a good idea because it not only acts as an insect repellent, and you all know how much we need any help we can get in that area.
The HAVOC product looks especially attractive for use in hot weather because it is slow drying. One of the problems that we have with the regular organosilicone surfactants is that they tend to dry quickly in high temperatures and thus can contribute to poor absorption, reduced contact residual action and, the most feared of all, elevated phytotoxicity and burn.
This generally is not the case with surfactants based on fatty acids (Amway APSA 80) and mineral oils (Stylet, Sunspray, etc), as they tend to resist quick evaporation. However, extreme care must be exercised in hot weather because the oils will act as anti-transpirants and cause epidermial burn or other problems of the stomate and/or hydathodes.
But in the case of HAVOC, they have combined the two elements: an all-natural seed oil with organosilicones to give us a combination that is claimed to be relatively safe in high temperatures. (Florida, Texas, Caribbean and Central American vegetable growers, take note.)
January 18, 2008
First of all, what are fill pads? Also known as rinse pads and fill stations, yes, they have been required by various federal and state laws for the past ten or so years.
The purpose of the fill pad is to contain any overflow or splashing that occurs during the sprayer tank mixing and loading operations so as to prevent the material from leaching into the soil.
This is a tricky subject because it brings all sorts of different areas of government into play, the least not being D.E.R.M. (Department of Environmental Regulations Management), and of course, E.P.A. and the State Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Water Management, and so-on. (read: everybody and his brother)
Environmental groups, extension people and universities have been harping on fill pads for several years, but the problem is that growers are usually very mobile and can’t really afford to build pads all over their fields, especially when these are leased and may not be in production the next season.
Static growers, such as nurseries and tree farms (fruit growers, too) have fixed installations and should consider installing their fill pads where they service the sprayers.
I don’t recommend putting this decision off, because it is only a matter of time, and then maybe a short time, before enforcement begins on this issue.
Especially in areas where there is local sensitivity to water quality and soil contamination or clean-up projects, you should keep your ear to the ground on this subject.
The parameters for locating the fill pads are very simple: keep them away from wells, at least 100 feet. Some states demand 250 feet. That’s a long way to run a pipe!!
Meanwhile, you can circumvent the issue by using a portable containment basin, such as those sold by Chemical Containers, Inc.. These containment basins are very much like inflatable kiddie pools, but really do the job, especially if you are moving around.
Another thing to remember: never mix and load in the same place twice. Move around. If you get caught on a spot that has hundreds of pesticide spills in it because it is the “fill station” (the north end of row 57) you are going to be looking at “mucho dinero” for a clean-up, and I mean “much, mucho, mucho, dinero!”
You also might want to run discs or blades over old fill areas to loosen and aireate the soil that may be loaded with residues. This will help clean it up.
Remember to train your mixer./loaders to mind the hose while filling the tank and not walk off for a smoke and then come back when the thing has been overflowing for a couple of minutes. This is contamination and also hard on your pocket because of the water wasted.
Yes, this is something that we don’t have in the forefront of our mind, but you should keep it in mind and do something about it in the near future.
January 12, 2008
Organosilicone Surfactants are being actively promoted as excellent penetrators as well as good surfactants with superior rain-fastness properties.
They are definitely recommended for use with herbicides, which will have their effects considerably enhanced because of the properties of the organosilicones.
But then, nobody cares what happens to the weeds, and hopes that they die and disappear quickly and don’t come back!
Now, this is not the kind of approach for crops that we want to grow, nurture, and develop into quality, profitable products. And here are the reasons why:
- Organosilicones are so efficient at spreading materials, that they have been known to enter plant stomata and hydathodes - organs not normally penetrated by other surfactants.
Hydathodes are the tiny openings along the leaf margins that allow excess water to escape during the night. This type of action can lead to the penetration of unwanted bacteria that could cause serious plant disease problems1.
- Because of their rain-fastness properties: silicone type sealing of stoma, they would also act as anti-transpirants that would be detrimental to respiration, especially under warm and sunny growing conditions.
- Due to their enhanced penetration qualities, organosilicones would promote uptake into the stoma cells of spray materials that should remain on the surface(epidermis), hence possible damage or injury to the plant. They definitely should not be used in conjunction with oils or metals (fungicides).
Consequently, care must be exercised when selecting a surfactant or sticker/spreader, and one must first consider the safety and health of the crops.
Crop Protection, when promoted by commission and quota driven salespeople, can often turn into an "Oxymoron".
Auburn University: “researchers evaluated the use of an organosilicone surfactant to promote bacterial infection of leaves for biological weed control. The data indicate that a stomata-penetrating surfactant can facilitate bacterial infections in the absence of wounds and/or free moisture on the leaf surface. Further, in field experiments, high levels of infection were attained under hot, dry and sunny conditions.”
January 4, 2008
Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDS are invaluable tools, designed to help and assist workers and emergency personnel in handling contact with potentially toxic substances.
Many occupations, require people to work with or come in contact with substances on a regular basis which can be hazardous if not handled correctly. This is where MSDS or Material Safety Data Sheets come in. They contain information outlining what type of protective gear should be worn when handling the substance, along with:
- Potential health effects from prolonged exposure
- First aid
- Level of toxicity
- Spill clean up and disposal procedures
Physical properties and characteristics like the boiling point, melting point, flash point, and reaction with other substances is also listed on the (MSDS) Material Safety Data Sheets. All this essential information is compiled by the manufacturer of the substance and MUST BE made available to those people who work with it on a regular basis.
Companies are required to keep and make Material Safety Data Sheets accessible for every toxic substance used by their employees in their facilities.
You might be wondering if any of this applies to the average person who may use potentially toxic substances on rare occasions and how much of a risk is involved. It’s true that the exposure level would not be as great for someone who only comes in contact with a substance such as, paint or paint thinner, once or twice a year as opposed to someone who uses it on a prolonged daily basis.
This does not mean that infrequent users should not take the same precautions when handling toxic substances. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are available for over 2 million different chemicals and are widely available on the internet. It is a good practice to familiarize yourself using Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for any type of toxic substance in your home and/or workplace.
Paint may seem harmless but prolonged exposure in an unventilated room, can cause serious reactions to occur. Pick a nice day to paint and open the windows to circulate air and move the fumes outside. Have a fan going to circulate the air as well will reduce the concentration in the room.
We often take for granted common toxic substances like paint thinner, gasoline, acetone, and other household chemicals. The Household Products Database has many Material Safety Data Sheets available for common household products. Use caution with any toxic substance – at work or at home.
MSDS information on toxic substances used in the workplace can be found at www.msds.com or www.msdsonline.com, and other MSDS vendor sites. The knowledge and information contained in (MSDS) Material Safety Data Sheets is essential in handling and using toxic substances safely and preventing potentially hazardous incidents from occurring.
December 30, 2007
Spray application information must be posted in a central location after the spraying is done.
True or False?
The WPS (Worker Protection Standards) requires that the information be posted before the spraying begins. This is to inform employees as to what areas will be sprayed and must be avoided.
The information posted must include:
- Location and description of the area to be treated.
- The product name, EPA registration number and active ingredient(s) of the pesticide
- The time and date the pesticide is scheduled to be applied
- The restricted entry interval (REI) for the pesticide.
This information must be available for 30 days AFTER the REI interval (Re Entry Interval) for the pesticide has expired.
Other information the central location must have:
- The name, telephone number and address of the nearest medical facility
- The WPS Pesticide Safety Poster in good, readable condition.
December 30, 2007
Can ONLY approved eyewash solutions can be used in rinsing eyes contaminated with pesticides?
True or False?
Clear, clean water is more than adequate for flushing and rinsing eyes that have been affected by pesticides. Published recommendations are that the flushing with water or other eyewash solutions be continuous for up to 15 minutes to assure total removal of residues of chemicals.
The water should be clean and clear, preferably potable and should not be too warm or excessively cold. (One of the approved EPA WPS (worker protection standards) Training tapes shows an instructor demonstrating how to flush a worker’s eyes out with water from an Igloo cooler, which hopefully was not ice water).
Specialized eyewash solutions must be current and fresh. We have a tendency to set-up eyewash stations and then let them sit unattended for long periods (sometimes years) and then, when we need to use the solution, it has decomposed and smells of sewer water!. This is not good for the eyes! The eyewash solutions should be replaced every 6 months and more frequently if the station is out in direct sunlight.
December 30, 2007
Spray records posted in the “Central Location” to inform workers of applications should have the same information as the records kept by the licensed applicator as required by law.
True or False?
The Worker Protection Standard requires that the data posted in the “Central Location” to inform workers of spray applications contain the following items:
- Date and time of application
- Location sprayed
- Product(s) applied
- EPA numbers
- Active ingredients
- Reentry period
- Date and time it will be safe to enter the area
These sheets must be kept posted for 30 days.
Spray records required of the applicators must contain the following data:
- Size of area treated
- Product(s) applied
- EPA Numbers
- Active ingredients
- Formulation X 100 gallons
- Total gallons used
- Method of application
- Name of applicator
- Name of licensee
- PPE used
- Posting requirements
These records, signed by the applicator or supervisor, must be kept on file for 2 years.