Spray Regs Update

Spray Regs Update

January 5, 2018

Spray Regs Providing Extra Measure of Protection to Schools

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

New regulations went into effect January 1, regarding the timing of applications or crop protection materials near school sites and licensed daycare facilities. The regulation provides an extra measure of protection to public K through 12 school sites and the daycare centers from the risk of short term pesticide exposure and help increase communication between grower and school and day care sites.

It prohibits many pesticide applications within a quarter mile of the school sites and daycare centers during school hours, Monday through Friday between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM. This includes all applications by aircraft sprinklers, air blast sprayers, and all fume again, applications. In addition, most dust and powder pesticide applications such as sulfur will also be prohibited during this time.

Wayne Zipser is president of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau. California Ag Today spoke with him concerning these new regulations. “Sometimes timing of applications is more critical for certain times, specifically fungicides, but also insecticides and herbicides applications, and these new regulations are going to effect the timing of these crop protection materials,” Zipser said.

Zipser said that growers have always been extremely careful around schools, but they do understand these new regulations. “It's going to cause a bigger burden for them, but they understand it and as long as it's clear along that's as clear and understanding regulation, there'll be able to deal with it,” Zipser said. “They're going to be able to to a spray on weekends and they're going to be able to spray between six and six, six at night and six in the morning, and so they can work through those as long as they understand what they are.”

The new regulation will affect about 3500 public K through 12 schools and licensed daycare facilities and involve approximately 2500 growers in California. While many counties in California currently have varying requirements for notifications of certain pesticide applications near schools. That proposed regulation is the first statewide standard.

Some commercial spray companies such as Hawk Ag Aviation, of Oakdale, Calif., which does aerial applications of materials, have even a higher standard. “We don’t apply material within a half-mile of schools,” said Shane Sperry with Hawk Ag. “That’s always been our policy.”