Pesticide experts will go on tour Oct. 3-7 to help Eastern Montanans renew their private pesticide applicator licenses before the end of the year.
Private citizens who wish to purchase, use or supervise the use of restricted use pesticides on land they own, rent or lease need a private applicator license. Private applicators in Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, McCone, Phillips, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Sheridan, Treasure, Valley and Wibaux counties need to recertify by the end of 2011, said Cecil Tharp, Pesticide Education specialist with Montana State University Extension. Those 17 counties lie within Montana Private Pesticide District number four.
To help private applicators recertify before it’s too late, the MSU Pesticide Safety Education and MSU Integrated Pest Management programs will hold 10 meetings over five days. Simultaneous meetings will be held Oct. 3 in Froid and Scobey, Oct. 4 in Glasgow and Malta, Oct. 5 in Circle and Jordan, Oct. 6 in Baker and Miles City, and Oct. 7 in Glendive and Wibaux.
Each meeting will include a session on pesticide storage and security. A new topic for these training sessions, it relates to Homeland Security, Tharp said. Another new topic at some of the meetings will be the management of narrowleaf hawksbeard, an emerging weed in northeast Montana.
Most of the meetings will also include a session on pesticide movement in the environment. Other topics will vary by area, but they may include cheatgrass management in croplands, preventing and managing herbicide resistance, common plant diseases, common urban insects, calibrating ground sprayers, weed management in small grain and pulse crop rotations, biological control of weeds, managing noxious weeds in rangleland, USDA restricted use recording keeping, and various ways that pesticides can be misused so they end up in manure, compost or grass clippings and damage non-target plants.
Speakers from MSU, DOW AgroScience and the Montana Department of Agriculture will conduct the training sessions.
Credits are available for private, government, and commercial applicators who require them.
Private applicator licenses last five years.
Courses in the 2011 Pest Management Tour are open to anyone who wants to recertify, but pre-registration is required for most locations so organizers have enough room and materials for those who attend. Some counties are charging a small fee to cover materials and lunch. Attendees should check fees and pre-register with their local Extension agent.