Upcoming Training Season for 2016
By Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager.

Well it is November and the training season is planned and ready to go. As we have done in the past we are offering training/review sessions in the months of January, February, March and April.

Why are they called “training/review sessions”?

They are called “trainings/reviews” because participants are still expected to read the manual. In these trainings we have approximately six hours to cover many days worth of information. We cannot possibly cover all that you should be aware of in these six hours. We condense as much as we can in this time frame. The PAT Program provides six hours of training then the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection gives you the test. If this is the first time that you have come in contact with this information it is pretty difficult to perform well on the test. This is why I throw that word “review” in there.


You must have purchase the category training fee with manual ($47) or e-manual (PDF manual; $42) certificate before you can take the test. Not many people would sit through six hours of laws and regulations and not be able to take the test at the end of the day. So make sure that base is covered.

To register simply go to the PAT Store and select the category you wish to register for then select buy. Training/Review sessions are $30 per applicator. This is in addition to the training fee above.

We discourage walk-in as much as possible. Simply paying the training fee with manual above does not register you for any of the training/review sessions. Being a walk-in runs the risk that there may not be a test for you that day. In some cases that is a large risk if you have traveled a long way to not be able to take the test.

This year’s sessions

The most recent training schedule can be found on the PAT Program’s web page, see link below. The web page will also have direction and information pertinent to the session.

Category 1.1 – Field & Vegetable Crops

Arlington – February 24, 2016 – Arlington Research Station.
Oshkosh – March 3, 2016 – La Sure’s Conference and Catering Conference Center
Eau Claire – March 9, 2016 – Metropolis Resort
Janesville – March 23, 2016 – Pontiac Convention Center

Category 2.0 – Forestry

Wausau – March 16, 2016 – Marathon County Extension Office

Category 3.0 – Turf and Landscape

Green Bay – March 2, 2016 – Comfort Suites Rock Garden
Oconomowoc – March 7, 2016 – Olympia Resort
Madison – March 21, 2016 – American Family Center
Oconomowoc – March 24, 2016 – Olympia Resort
Eau Claire – March 30, 2016 – Metropolis Resort
Oconomowoc – April 6, 2016 – Olympia Resort
Oconomowoc – April 20, 2016 – Olympia Resort
Rothschild – April 28, 2016 – Stony Creek Hotel & Conference Center

Category 3.1 / 104 / 105 – Greenhouse and Nursery

Waukesha – February 5, 2016 – Waukesha County Extension Office

Category 5.0 – Aquatic & Mosquito

Green Bay – January 28, 2016 – Brown County Extension Office

Category 6.0 – Right-of-Way

Wausau – January 21, 2016 – Marathon County Extension Office
Waukesha – April 18, 2016 – Carroll University, Graduate Student Center

Category 7.1 – Structural

Wisconsin Dells – February 16, 2016 – Kalahari Resort
Waukesha – April 22, 2016 – Carroll University, Graduate Student Center

2016 Training Season

Registration and purchasing base training fee (PAT Store)

Audio (MP3)


Certification & Training Rule Changes, in a Little More Detail
By Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager.
Steve Tomasko, Senior Outreach Specialist

In the August edition of the PAT CHAT Newsletter, the article “New Certification & Training Rules Proposed by EPA Will Lead to Changes in Wisconsin's Rules” indicated that changes may be ahead of us. In that article we made you aware of the Environmental Protection Agency’s review of the Certification rules and that they had proposed new rules. However, we did not break down what changes are being proposed or how they would affect pesticide applicators in Wisconsin.

In this article I will try and explain some of the proposed rule changes and what they might mean to us. It should be pointed out that these are “proposed rules” not implemented changes yet. At the writing of the last newsletter the 90-day public comment period on the proposed rules was open. At the writing of this newsletter a request to expand the comment period is under review.

This article will explain the proposed rule changes and comment on how this could affect applicators in Wisconsin. A lot of this will be taken from documents written by and provided by the EPA and released publicly. Please be aware that at the time of writing this article, no Wisconsin rules have been changed and no definite changes to Wisconsin rules will be provided.

A lot of the changes proposed by the EPA are an attempt to “bring the Federal Rules up to par” with the already present state rules across the country. Meaning a lot of the proposed changes will not affect an applicator in Wisconsin, because we already have that rule or are more restrictive. However, others will affect us.

A 3-year Recertification System. The EPA has proposed that all States would have to go to a mandatory 3-year certification system.

NOTE: In Wisconsin we work on a 5-year system. This would be one of the largest changes that we would have to implement. Presently, Wisconsin requires all commercial applicators for-hire and anyone using Restricted-Use Pesticides (including not-for-hire and private applicators using RUPs) to be certified. The training materials are reviewed and revised on a 5-year schedule to assure that any changes to laws are included in the training materials. In the present Wisconsin law, to certify and recertify, applicators have to take the certification exam every 5 years.

Minimum Age Requirements. The EPA has proposed that all persons using Restricted-Use Pesticides (RUP) be of a minimum age of 18. Presently there are no age requirements in Federal law.

NOTE: Wisconsin law already has a minimum age for commercial or private applicators of 16. These new proposed rules would bump our minimum age up to 18.

Direct Supervision. Changes in the direct supervision rules have been proposed regarding safety training, instructions and immediate communication.

NOTE: These proposed changes will not affect Wisconsin much. Wisconsin law does not allow for direct supervision, all commercial applicators for-hire and private applicators (who use RUPs) must be certified in the same manner.

Strengthened Private Applicator Training. In the new rules, the EPA has given increased guidelines as to what has to be taught to private applicators.

NOTE: Many of the proposed topics are topics that are already given in the training manuals, classes, etc. Examples include: label and labeling comprehension, safety, environmental concerns, laws and regulations, etc. We in Wisconsin will not feel a large effect, possibly just a little beefing up of a topic or two.

New Categories. The EPA has proposed that all states provide the following new categories; soil fumigation, non-soil fumigation, aerial application.

NOTE: Luckily, Wisconsin already has these three categories. Categories/Subcategories 111 and 9.9, aerial application subcategory; 107 and 25, Soil Fumigation; 7.2, Space and Commodity Fumigation are already implemented in Wisconsin’s rules.

Non-reader Certification. No “non-reader” options for persons who cannot read to obtain certification to use RUPs.

NOTE: This will not affect Wisconsin, because our state has always implemented this. Partially due to the fact that Wisconsin’s law did not allow for “direct supervision” each applicator has had to show proficiency in being able to read and follow a pesticide label.

Identification. The EPA has proposed that identification has to be presented at time of certification and recertification.

NOTE: In Wisconsin you already have to present photo I.D. when taking the certification or recertification tests. This would not require any changes.

Closed Book and Proctored Exams. The EPA has proposed that all exams be closed book and proctored.

NOTE: At present, in Wisconsin, the commercial applicator’s test is closed book so this would not affect commercial applicators. However, this would be a very large change in the private applicator rules. Although private applicator’s exams are proctored, they are presently open book.

How states handle Certification & Training can be very different. Some states require a certification exam, but then go on a continuing education system. Essentially an applicator has to get so many credit hours over a period of time. A lot of states’ rules were not part of the Federal laws. Other states, like Wisconsin require the taking of a test.

Some of what the EPA has done is try to standardize the requirements; to blend some of these unique state rules. Setting everybody at a 3-year recertification cycle is one example of that. Which of these proposed rules will go into effect, how they may change and which ones will not is hard to say. How we will have to adapt to these changes is also hard to say until we have the final rules. Nonetheless, the PAT Program will try to keep you in the loop as information becomes available in the PAT CHAT NEWSLETTER, trainings and other ways.

Audio (MP3)


The Creation of Wisconsin’s First Pollinator Protection Plan is Under Way.
By Mike Murray, Pesticide Program, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Voiced by Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is working in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin Madison, Department of Entomology to develop the state’s first pollinator protection plan. The Plant Industry Bureau’s state apiary program and the Agricultural Chemical Management Bureau’s pesticide program are using their expertise to lead the plan development process. The department views the plan as an opportunity to support Wisconsin’s agriculture, beekeeping and other industries by developing voluntary actions residents can take to protect managed and native pollinators. The plan will not be a regulatory tool.

Pollinator protection is a complex issue and multiple viewpoints need to be considered. Therefore a diverse stakeholder group was assembled to provide content that fits the landscape of Wisconsin. Stakeholders represent a range of agricultural, urban, governmental, tribal and non-profit organizations. Stakeholder input will guide the development of this plan. At the first plan development meeting on August 12th, twenty-plus stakeholders and a number of interested citizens participated.

The stakeholder group agreed that the purpose of the plan is to act as an educational resource useful for Wisconsin residents interested in pollinator health and conservation. The goals for the plan are to:

  1. Identify a voluntary set of actions that stakeholders can take to protect pollinators
  2. Improve stakeholder understanding of pollinator health issues and how their actions impact pollinators
  3. Increase communication among stakeholders

The stakeholder group will meet two more times, and anticipates completing the plan by the end of the year. To learn more about factors impacting pollinator health, and to see meeting notes and updates about the pollinator protection plan process, visit the department’s new pollinator protection webpage.

Pollinator Protection Webpage

Audio (MP3)


Resources for Using Integrated Pest Management in Schools
By Steve Tomasko, Senior Outreach Specialist.

Integrated Pest Management is useful in all pest management situations, whether you’re fighting pests on corn, weeds in someone’s lawn or trying to get rid of ants in a school building. But IPM is an especially good tool to use in Wisconsin’s schools as a way to use a minimal amount of pesticide while still achieving good pest control.

Both the state and federal governments have resources to help you develop and use an IPM program in your school. We’ll list some of these later in this article. First, let’s make sure we know what we’re talking about when we say “Integrated Pest Management, or IPM.”

There are many definitions of IPM, but the one we like to use in our PAT training manuals is this:

IPM is an ecological approach to pest management in which we combine all available necessary techniques into a unified program. Our goal is to manage pest populations in a way that avoids pest damage and minimizes adverse side effects of pests and control measures including pesticides.

And maybe a shorter way of saying this is simply, “use all the tools in your toolbox, not just pesticides.”

Using IPM, especially in schools, can be effective and good public policy.

First, pesticides don’t always work or may not provide the best control for all situations. Many common pests have developed a resistance to pesticides, making their use ineffective. Sometimes you may not be able to apply pesticides where they would do the most good. Also, if the problem is a loose screen or some other way insects are getting into a building, simply killing what keeps flying or crawling in does not solve the long-term problem.

IPM can save money by avoiding the cost of purchasing unnecessary pesticides. Using IPM strategies helps reduce contamination of the environment or causing harm to non-target plants and animals.

Maybe one of the most important factors in regards to schools is that IPM helps maintain a good public image. Many people are wary of pesticide use in general—but especially wary when it comes to pesticide use around their children. Whether people’s fear of pesticides is valid or not, the reality is that most people want fewer pesticides used in public spaces.

So, how do you map out an IPM program for your school? What elements should you put into it? What are the other tools you can use besides pesticides?

Coming up soon on November 10th, the Environmental Protection Agency is hosting an online seminar (or “webinar”) titled, “Writing an IPM Policy for Your School District.” Other webinars to follow address bed bugs in schools, IPM for school turf and more. Don’t worry; if you miss any webinar, they are available to download later. See the EPA’s website here for more information:


You can also start with the EPA’s school IPM website at:


The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, or DATCP, also hosts a website for school IPM at:


At DATCP’s website you can find information about IPM in general, factsheets and information on school training opportunities.

These resources are there to benefit and help you as a pesticide applicator in Wisconsin’s schools. Please take advantage of them.

Audio (MP3)


The Pitfalls of Recordkeeping
By Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager.

The largest pitfall of pesticide applicator recordkeeping is the fact that it is often neglected. Record keeping is one of the largest violations that the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection report.

Keeping records can sometimes be a pain. After a hard day spraying getting ready to make a break for the weekend on a Friday, a person might neglect to fill out the record sheets. An applicator might think I can do it Monday. As you will find below, this not allowed. But, Monday rolls around and guess what, we forgot to do: keep the records. However, failing to do so is breaking the law and may get you in trouble, possibly even loose your privilege to use certain products or spray completely.

Who has to keep the records?

The applicator making the application must make the record. If you are a private applicator you have to make record of all RUP applications. If you are a commercial applicator you have to make record of all pesticide applications. When do I make the record?

If you are a commercial applicator the record entry has to be made the day of the application. Although ATCP 29.33(2) does not specify when a private applicator makes the record of an RUP application, it is wise to do it the same day of the application. Reason being, if you are applying to a large number of fields it might quickly get lost what was done, especially in the rush of getting it all done.

How long do I have to keep these records?

The records have to be kept for 2 years. Atrazine applications have to be kept for 3 years. Records have to be kept by the Private applicator, but the company employing the commercial applicator can keep the records for the company. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) can inspect the records and make copies on request.

What do I have to record?

  1. Your first and last name (The one making the application)
  2. Name and address of customer if there is one.
  3. The crop, commodity or site where the pesticide was applied.
  4. A specific description of the location of the pesticide application. This has to be good enough to where the specific location can be identified. “In the kitchen.” Baaa! “In the kitchen under the sink,” that’s better.
  5. Month, day, year and approximate time of starting and ending the application.
  6. The brand name or common chemical name and the EPA registration number.
  7. You can record at least one of the following;
    • The concentration and total quantity of each pesticide applied.
    • The amount of product applied per unit area and the total area treated.
  8. Each location at which the pesticide was mixed or loaded. If it was done at a business location already licensed then this does not need to be entered. You don’t have to report the mixing or loading site if:
    • The pesticide is applied directly from a prepackaged retain container.
    • It is being applied by equipment that has a 5 gallons or 50 pounds less capacity.

Tools for Record Keeping.

There are many ways to help in keeping these records. Companies have devised several software packages, forms, and mobile apps. Below are some possible aids to help, but if you prefer to devise your own way to keep records excellent, as long as you record all of the above.

Free PAT Record Keeping Form

Audio (MP3)


Notifying Your Clients about Pesticide Applications
By Steve Tomasko, PAT Program Senior Outreach Specialist.

Communicating with your clients about a pesticide application seems obvious. Of course you have to talk to the client to find out what the problem is (weeds in their lawn? Cockroaches in the kitchen?). But not only is it necessary to do, sometimes notifying your client about what you will, or did do, is a legal requirement.

We call this requirement “notification,” and it can be somewhat complicated at times trying to decide whom you must notify and when. Complicating it further, notification depends on the type of application you are doing: Is it to someone’s house? A rental property? A farmer’s field? Inside a greenhouse? All these different application sites can have different notification requirements.

To avoid too much confusion, in this article I will not get in to the nitty gritty detail but tell you to consult the manual you used when studying for your certification exam. We discuss notification issues in the chapter, “Safety Concerns.”

However, I do want to go over some basics and reasons why notification is an important issue. As I said in the opening paragraph, it is often a legal requirement. And it’s one that quite often pesticide applicators fail to do. This can lead to fines from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). No one wants a fine and we all want to do the right thing, so make sure you are familiar with the notification requirements for your particular area.

Types of Notification
Sometimes there are both pre- and post-application requirements for notification. This means, obviously, that you may have to give your client information both before AND after you make the application.

It’s not always your customer, however, that you have to give information to. If you are making a pesticide application in a landscape, you must check the “landscape registry” to see if there are people nearby where you will be applying who have requested prior notification. See the end of this article for more information on the landscape registry.

So, what is it you need to notify your customer or other people about? Again, the specifics will vary depending on the specific type of application you are doing and who you need to notify. However, in general, you need to give people information such as a telephone number where the person may contact your employer, the date and approximate starting and ending times of the application, the brand, product, or common name and EPA registration number of each pesticide you applied and more. Again, refer to your training manual for specific details and make sure you give your customer, or others ALL information required by law.

Notification may seem like one more chore for you, however, it is important to give your customer and other people information about what you are doing. And again, it is the law.

Besides your training manual, visit these sites for more information, or call or contact us here at the PAT program:

Landscape Registry

PDF of Wisconsin State Law ATCP29

Audio (MP3)


WPS Update
By Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager.

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a set of requirements that are in place to assure worker protection on Farms, Forests, Greenhouse and Nurseries. If you employ at least one employee in any of the above four areas, these requirements apply to you. There are some exemptions for immediate family and certified crop consultants, but if there are employees then these standards have to be met.

In previous articles we mentioned that the EPA was reviewing the WPS and that change was on the horizon. The final rule appeared in the Federal Registry on Nov 2nd. The EPA gives 14 months after the rule change is posted in the Federal Registry. Below are some of the main changes that you will have to keep in mind.

Who can do the training?
Luckily the EPA has agreed to continue letting certified applicators (individuals who have gone through the applicator certification system). The original proposal had suggested that a further training would have to be implemented; that only trained WPS trainers could provide the training.

Annual Training.
Workers (employees that do not directly handle pesticides) and Handlers (employees that do directly handle pesticides) now have to go through an annual training. Previously it was set at every five years. Records of training of employees must be kept for two years.

Expanded Training.
The EPA has expanded the training topics applying increased emphasis on “take home exposure” and other safety topics. This will include topics dealing with family exposure, for example washing work clothes separately from the family’s laundry and not to take pesticides or pesticide containers home.

Age Requirements.
The EPA has initiated a minimum age of 18 to work with pesticides or perform early entry tasks. Immediate family is exempt from this.

If the Restricted Entry Interval (REI) is 48 hours or more the WPS sign has to be posted in out-door production. REI less than 48 either oral warnings or posting can be used. Table 1 lists some of the products in agriculture that have REI of 48 hours. In enclosed production (greenhouses, etc), either oral warnings or the posting of signs can be done when the REI is 4 hours or less. WPS warning signs have to be removed within 3 days of REI expiry.

Table 1. List of agricultural Products that have REI of 48 hours.
Basagran Butyrac 200 Cimarron Max Curtail
Extreme Forefront HL Hornet WDG MCPA Amine
Ultra Blazer      
Aztec Counter Fortress Phorate
Apron Max RTA Cruiser Maxx Advanced Enhance Proline 480
Quadris Ridomil Gold Ridomil Gold Stratego YLD  
Taken from "Pest Management in Wisconsin Field Crops", A3646

Application Exclusion Zones.
An application exclusion zone is a halo of no entry zone for workers while the application is occurring within the boundaries of the property. The new rules have set this at 100 feet. This means that workers are not allowed to be within 100 feet of the application equipment while spraying. It is based on the application equipment, not necessarily the treated site. The purpose of this is to reduce exposure to workers due to drift.

Employee Access to Application Information.
Employers still have to provide application specific information at a central location, but now Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of all the pesticide products used in the business for the past two years also have to be provided to employees at this central location. If a product is used where an SDS is not provided, it has to be provided within 24 of application. SDS can be downloaded for free from the CDMS product data base. See the link below. Keeping a binder of these SDS at this central location is a good idea.

The EPA has provided some good documents providing information regarding these new rules. One document that is effective is the “EPA Comparison Chart”, we have provided a link below. In future updates on this topic, the PAT Program will provide topics required for training.

EPA Comparison Chart

EPA WPS Revisions

CDMS - Great source of labels and SDS

Audio (MP3)


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