The 2022 BeSure campaign from the Growing Matters Coalition centers on using crop protection materials safely and responsibly. Protecting bees and other wildlife is a key element of best-management practices. Associate Director of Regulatory, Stewardship, and Sustainability for Valent USA, Leslie Garcia said that pollinator safety is a central focus throughout the development and applications of crop protection materials.
“We look at pollinator safety all the way from the regulatory strategy on how we design a product and all the way down to the labeling and education pieces that we use to educate and train those who work with pesticides as well as apply them,” Garcia explained.
Along with pollinator health, keeping applicator safety in mind is another critical part of good stewardship. Garcia said there are a variety of considerations for keeping applicators safe when out on the farm.
“Looking at everything from personal protective equipment, proper use when mixing, when applying, looking at reentry periods as well as preharvest,” Garcia noted. “Basically, we’re looking at every stage of how a product can be used within field operations and making sure that the safety is there and the right requirements on personal protective equipment and handling is used throughout.”
Product labels are a primary resource for health and safety information. Garcia suggests a thorough reading of the label information to ensure “you and the people who will be handling the product understand the language and information contained in that label.” Garcia also said that local field extension personnel and county ag commissioners are other excellent resources for further information.
Listen to Garcia’s full interview.
This was a message from the BeSure campaign brought to you by the Growing Matters Coalition, an initiative reminding farmers and applicators to follow stewardship best practices to protect pollinators and other wildlife. Visit growingmatters.org/besure for more information.