Pesticide Service Container Clarification
By Otto Oemig, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Occastionally, the question 'what is a service container and what are the regulations concerning this definition?' comes up. Otto Oemig of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection as addressed this in the following memorandom.

Service containers are defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as containers that are filled with an EPA-registered pesticide by an applicator and usually transported to a use site where the pesticide will be applied by the applicator.


Service containers are not intended for long term storage of a pesticide and a pesticide cannot be sold or distributed in a service container. Service containers may not be left in the field or with a customer.

Note: Department of Transportation (DOT) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements may apply to service containers.


While there are no State or Federal requirements for labeling of service containers, labeling is strongly recommended to protect the health and safety of both the user and the general public. To protect against accidental pesticide poisonings, you should never use any beverage or food containers as a service container. Particularly, water or soda bottles should never be used as service containers as they may be mistakenly consumed.


Examples of service containers include;

Service containers are NOT;

Pesticide Label Restrictions

Labeling of service containers may be required on the pesticide label. Always read and follow all label directions.

For more information
Contact Otto Oemig, (608)-224-4547,

EPA Service Containers Web Site

Audio (MP3)


Mean High Watermark, What Does It Mean?
By Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager.
Steve Tomasko, Senior Outreach Specialist
Mike Murray, Pesticide Program, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Pesticide products are formulated for the sites that they are labeled for. An example of this is that some pesticides have ingredients in them that may be harmful to aquatic animals. These products are labeled for terrestrial environments only; they cannot be applied to water or below the mean high water mark.

A question that is often posed is, “if the site is dry can I treat that application as a terrestrial application?” This question often comes up in regards to wet lands, riparian forests, ditches that might be wet some times of the year but not others. Another situation that this question comes up is when someone has lowered the level of a pond or lake to inhibit aquatic plant growth and want to apply a pesticide. This is a good question that needs some explanation.

The answer to question is dependent on the label and how it words it Environmental Hazards statements. “Do not apply directly to water, to areas where surface water is present or to intertidal area below the mean high water mark,” [Roundup Pro®].

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines “Intertidal zone” in our case area as “The zone between the mean higher high water and mean lower low water lines” (NOS CO-OPS 1 2000). Essentially this restriction area referred to, is based on the mean high water mark and the water line. The question might best be what is the mean high water mark is?

In 1914, the Wisconsin Supreme Court defined the ordinary high water mark as “the point on the bank or shore up to which the presence and action of water is so continuous as to leave a distinct mark either by erosion, destruction or terrestrial vegetation or other easily recognized characteristic [taken from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,]. This is a “distinct mark either by erosion, destruction or terrestrial vegetation. . .” so some kind of observable shore line or erosion event. We are also taking "mean" and "ordinary" to be synonymous. Most labels use "mean" when referring to the high water mark.

Draining a pond or lake is likely to provide a petty clear mean high water mark. Applying below this with the product above would be an off label application. However, in a wet land or riparian area with highly variable water levels these distinct marks may not be available.

If there is no distinct mark or characteristic then that portion of the restriction is no longer applicable, but the first two restrictions still apply. Not to apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Surface water is determined to be present if the ground feels wet. A general concept has been traditionally given that if you stand in sock feet and your feet get wet, then surface water is present and this would be against the restriction above.

Now that we have determined what the mean high water mark is, we now know that we can only use products labeled for use below the mean high water mark. The next question is, do I need to be certified in the category 5.0 Aquatic & Mosquito to apply below the mean high water mark? The answer to that one is yes [ATCP 29.31 (8)(a) 1].

If you are applying a pesticide below the mean high water mark, then you have to be certified in category 5.0 Aquatic & Mosquito. This would include that pond or lake application where the water level has been reduced.

Also keep in mind that when applying above the mean high water mark the certification category will depend on the site of application, for example, if you are applying to a golf course you will need category 3.0, Turf & Landscape. If you plan on doing applications above and below the mean high water mark, then you will require certification in more than one category.

Audio (MP3)


What is the Point of a Test
By Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager
Steve Tomasko, Senior Outreach Specialist.

Whether a high school student, college student or a commercial pesticide applicator I don’t believe I have ever heard the words, “Ooow a test, I love tests!” Most people feel a certain amount of anxiety around taking a test, some more than others. This is natural, but this anxiety can be tremendous in a person whom has not had to think about taking a test for many years. A person who thought that they saw their last test many years ago, and gratefully for that matter, can be faced with having to pass a test to be a commercial applicator. This gets more difficult if you have not worked around pesticides before and this is all new to you. A lot of this information is technical.

Added to the pressure is the fact that many applicators’ jobs depend on being able to pass this test. Somebody working for a lawn care company cannot do their job if they are not certified.

There is actually a lot of information that a person has to take in and reproduce to pass the certification exam. Much of this information is somewhat technical and not always common knowledge. Yes, you have to wear gloves when using pesticides, but knowing that emulsifiable concentrate formulations of pesticides pose a higher risk of absorbing into your skin may not be known. However, that is something that might protect you by knowing.

Certification exams are not ‘gimmie’ exams and not solely based on ‘common sense’ as some may think. Knowing the difference between the ‘Landscape sign,’ ‘ATCP 29 sign,’ and the ‘Permanent sign’ and when to use which sign is not always ‘common sense.’ This is not knowledge that you were born with. You either know it or you don’t.

The manuals that present this information are not small either. The applicators in the ‘Turf and Landscape’ category have a manual of a 194 pages of testable information. The ‘Structural’ manual has 160 pages of testable material. Much of what is in those pages can appear in the exam.

Often, in training sessions, people might say, “Just teach me what is on the test.” If the statement was, “Just teach me what I need to know,” that would be easier to respond to. That would mean a two or three day training that covered everything in the manual and quite a bit of what is not in the manual. That is what the state expects you to know. If you just knew what was on the test that would not be all that you should know.

The point of a certification test, drivers test, spelling B or anything that tests knowledge is that it is a random selection from what is required, not all of it. Although a question about the volatilization of pesticides may not be on the test, it is still something you should know something about. Volatility is a character of some pesticides and understanding this helps make you a better applicator by knowing what conditions increases the potential of damage. Not knowing what is on the test makes the need to learn all the information, not just what is on the test.

DATCP could give you a test that covers everything you need to know, but then you would be sitting down to a 600 question test and that would drive most over the top.

Audio (MP3)


Rodent Bait Placement
By Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager.

Rats and mice are called commensal rodents. This is because where there have been people there have been rats and mice. They have moved through history with us, communing with us every step of the way. Although, some cultures may consider these pesky rodents as sacred or some people may keep domesticated rats as pets, they have typically been considered a pest. Rats have been vectors of several diseases that can affect people; diseases such as the infamous bubonic plague (truly caused by the rat flea). As a pest, pesticides are often employed to control infestations.

Often the pesticide is delivered through baits. The pesticide is impregnated on something that the rodent deems tasty. A snack if you will. Traditionally these baits were left on the ground or in trays of various designs. As they were, these open baits often lead to the poisoning of nontarget species such as raccoons, the family pet or in some rare cases people. New rules have been implemented to reduce the possibility of accidental poisoning.

Requirements for the control of rats and mice above ground require the use of rodenticide bait stations. These are generally plastic containers that contain the bait impregnated with pesticide. They are safety tools to inhibit non-target species, including the human kind, from getting to the bait. Typically they are not easily opened by non-target species and are designed to allow mice or rats to enter, get to the toxic bait then get out again. They are often plastic lock boxes that have a hole on either side so that they can be placed in the path of the mouse or rat pest. Essentially the rodent enters one end of the bait station, stops for a little snack, and then exits the other side.

The bait stations are placed along walls because the rodents tend to follow vertical surfaces. Most bait station’s entrances are in direct line with their exits (the shotgun design), allowing the rodent to see through the station along its track. However, there are some bait stations available that have right angles in them for corners, but the majority of bait stations I have seen are linear pathways.

Most products will give you the rate and the placement of the bait station. For example, apply 10 to 42 bait bags per placement or apply 15 to 30 ounces per placement. This amount will be larger for rats than for mice. In the placement of the bait station the label will provide the distribution of the station, for example, at 15 to 30 foot placements. This means that for any bait station the next bait station has to be at least 15 to 30 feet apart. Depending on the product and the concentration of the active ingredient, this will fluctuate.

Some bait stations are specific for the specific bait you are buying. These will often provide cubes or bags designed for the accompanying plastic bait station. In these cases the bait may be pre measured out, eliminating this step.

The rates provided are based on allowable rates of the active ingredient set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

How does this placement look? Let’s take a look at an example. “Whoop-IT Rat and Mouse” is 0.005% Bromadiolone and its rate for house mice is 0.25 to 0.5 oz of bait per station at 8 to 12 foot placements. The label allows a bump in rate up to 2 oz if you have a serious problem, but let’s say we just have a few mice trying to set up shop in the basement, so we decide to use 0.5 oz of bait per station at a 10 ft placement to be easy.

In figure one, the maximum placement of bait station at the rate above has been diagramed. In this plan, it has been identified that the mice are traveling clean around the basement, so bait stations have been placed along all four walls. This plan is somewhat excessive. This is representation of what the maximum use amount would be. At 0.5 oz a bait station, this plan would introduce a total of 0.02 oz of bromadiolone into a 900 sq ft area. A few more calculations and we find that this works out to 1 oz/A. There is no placement in the middle, for rats and mice generally follow walls. They typically do not make open area crossings.

Figure 1. Maximum placement in a basement.

In this plan, each bait station has a 10 ft sphere of influence. They are placed 10 ft apart using right angled bait stations. Note that there are not two bait stations directly beside each other separated by a wall. In this particular placement walls are not counted as barriers, since this is a single family living area. Placing two stations on each side of a wall would mean that we have doubled up the rate in that placement, because maximum rates are set on area not rat logic.

Figure 2 is another arrangement of the basement. This one is probably adequate to control a moderate infestation. The bait stations are still placed on the path of the mice, but they are somewhat hidden by objects, such as the furnace and those two cabinets. However, a little bit more difficult to do bait refills, but also a little bit more difficult for kids and pets to get at. The important thing to identify is that they are still placed at a minimum of 10 ft apart.

Figure 2. A possible adequate placement for the control of a moderate infestation.

In another example, we find we have to control a pretty heavy infestation of rats in a 60-foot hallway. This time the label specifies to use 3 cubes at 20-foot placements. To know the rate of placement we might take 60 and divide it by 20 to get 3 for a maximum of three bait stations. This would look like Figure 3.

Figure 3. Three bait stations at 20-foot placements.

This would be compliant with the label. Of course you can always use less, the EPA is always OK with using less. However, an applicator said in a training that this would actually work out to four using the following pattern (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Four bait station placements.

Which one is right? The answer is both are compliant as long as no other bait station entered any stations sphere of influence. The distribution in Figure 4 would also require right-angled bait stations. In most cases these are maximum application rates and would be extreme.

Controling Rodents and Regulating Rodenticides - EPA

Audio (MP3)


Agricultural Use of Chlorpyrifos Could End
By Steve Tomasko, Senior Outreach Specialist.

In October of last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed revoking all food tolerances for chlorpyrifos and initiated a public comment period about the proposal. That comment period is over and the EPA will issue its final decision at the end of this year.

Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide that has been in use since 1965 and has been used to control many different kinds of pests, including termites, mites, aphids, cockroaches, roundworms and more. Although the EPA re-registered the active ingredient in 2006 the agency has through the years put more restrictions on its use (see sidebar). The latest proposal, if enacted, would essentially bar its use for any agricultural product.

The EPA sets food tolerances, which are the maximum amount of a pesticide allowed to remain in or on a food, as part of the process of regulating pesticides. So, revoking all tolerances is saying there cannot be any chlorpyrifos residue allowed on food, which is another way of banning a product’s use on food crops.

The reason for the proposal, the EPA says, is to ensure that workers that use or work around areas treated with chlorpyrifos are protected and that drinking water in vulnerable watersheds is protected. In a statement from the EPA, the agency states that: “Based on the 2014 risk assessment, while dietary exposure to chlorpyrifos from food and residential exposure appears safe, when those exposures are combined with estimated exposure from drinking water in those watersheds, EPA could not conclude that the risk from aggregate exposure to chlorpyrifos meets the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) safety standard. As such, EPA issued a proposal on October 30, 2015, to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances.”

Non-agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos, including golf courses, turf, greenhouses, and on non-structural wood treatments such as utility poles and fence posts, are not affected by this proposed rule. All residential uses except for roach bait stations in child resistant packaging and fire ant mound treatments were eliminated in June 2000. As you might expect, many individuals and groups oppose the revocation proposal. Dow AgroSciences issued a statement disagreeing with EPA’s proposal and are “confident” that tolerance issues related to the continued use of chlorpyrifos “can be readily resolved with a more refined analysis of data.”

We will find out what the EPA’s decision is by the end of 2016.

Chlorpyrifos History

Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide developed by Dow Chemical and is known by many trade names, including Dursban, Empire 20, Equity, and Lorsban among others. Chlorpyrifos was first registered as an insecticide in 1965 and the EPA re-registered it in 2006. Currently, the only legal indoor use for chlorpyrifos is in containers with treated baits.

Chlorpyrifos blocks an enzyme that controls messages between nerve cells. When that pathway is blocked, the nervous system can’t send normal signals. This causes the nervous system to malfunction and this is how it eventually kills the pest.

The insecticide can also affect humans. Chlorpyrifos can overstimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, confusion, and at very high exposures respiratory paralysis and death.

In 1994, growers used about 13 million pounds of chlorpyrifos. In 2012, that amount dropped to about 6 million pounds. The largest agricultural market for the insecticide is corn. It is also used on soybeans, fruit and nut trees, brussel sprouts, cranberries, broccoli, and cauliflower, as well as other row crops. Non-agricultural uses include golf courses, turf, greenhouses, and on wood treatments such as utility poles and fence posts.

In June 2000, the EPA eliminated all homeowner uses, except ant and roach baits in child resistant packaging and fire ant mound treatments. In addition, the EPA phased out its use as a treatment for termites. Also in 2000, the EPA required that all uses of chlorpyrifos on tomatoes be stopped. Use on apples was restricted to pre-bloom and dormant application. The grape tolerance was lowered to reflect the labeled dormant application.

Chlorpyrifos was further restricted on citrus, tree nuts and other crops in 2002.

In 2012 the EPA significantly lowered application rates and mandated “no-spray” buffer zones around public spaces, including recreational areas and homes.

Last year the EPA issued a proposal to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances. The agency will issue its final decision on that proposal in December of 2016.

For more information, see the EPA’s webpage on this issue at:

EPA Information

EPA Docket (Comments)

Audio (MP3)


An agreement between Bayer Crop Science and The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Regarding the Herbicide Active Ingredient Isoxaflutole has been met.
By Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager.

Until recently products containing the corn herbicide isoxaflutole have not been labeled in Wisconsin. However, it seems that the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection may come to an agreement with Bayer Crop Science regarding the use of isoxaflutole in Wisconsin.

Isoxaflutole is a HPPD inhibiting active ingredient found in the herbicides Balance Pro® and Balance Flexx®. It has excellent activity on lamsquarters, pigweeds and velvetleaf (Purdue University). Isoxaflutole has not been available in Wisconsin due to data submitted in its original registration that indicated that the product could be a potential risk to ground or surface water in Wisconsin. At the time the active ingredient was labeled in several other states where it has been used in corn production in most Midwestern states.

In the new agreement, isoxaflutole will get a registration in Wisconsin if certain conditions are met. The first of these conditions is that Bayer Crop Science will have to obtain registration though the EPA of a supplemental label which allows for the use of isoxaflutole products in the counties of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Lafayette and Rock. This supplemental label will not allow use on coarse textured soils if the ground water is less than 25 feet or unknown. Products will only be allowed to be used between the dates of April 1st and July 31st. In tile outletted fields, one of the flowing has to be met; products cannot be applied within 66 feet of stand pipes or have to be incorporated at a depth of 2 to 3 inches or applied only to no-till fields using a practice that maintains a high residue content. This supplemental label will expire in three years with an extension for two.

Bayer Crop Science will also have to conduct three five-year studies in the State of Wisconsin and submit those findings to DATCP. The first study must be conducted on the impacts of use on surface water quality. The second must be conducted on the impacts of use tile drained field effluent. The third study will be to study the impacts of use on ground water. Of course these studies will all have to be done in fields where isoxiflutole will be used and specific instructions on how these are to be done have been written into the agreement.

Specific criteria have been given to identify risk in all three studies in the agreement. If isoxiflutole or its breakdown components are found above these limits given in the agreement, the sale and use will be stopped.

Audio (MP3)


Urban Chemigation and Misting Systems
By Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager.

In the past couple of years there has been increasing interest in urban chemigation and misting systems to apply pesticides. This would be the applying of pesticides through an irrigations system in landscapes such as yards, commercial sites and industrial property. One such application would be to apply a mosquito control product or to apply a fungicide to control dollar spot in a lawn. Areas where this might be used are industrial landscapes, golf courses and for those who could afford it, for I don’t suspect that it will be cheap, possibly residential property.


As would be expected there are concerns regarding such a practice. The first that may come to mind is the possibility of people coming into contact with the pesticide used in the application. Imagine the chemigation unit going off and unknown to the applicator there are people sitting on the grass on the other side of those shrubs.

The second concern is that pesticides could potentially move off site and into the watershed. Urban watersheds are fairly fluid, much of the runoff entering the sewer system and into lakes and rivers. What makes irrigation effective is that large volumes of water are typically used to irrigate. Urban chemigation systems may need similar volumes to be effective. Misting systems may be one option to reduce the application volume.

Misting systems would use less volume. In the case of a misting system, the potential for off-site movement though drift, might replace the issue of runoff. Fine particles may move off-site in wind currents or temperature inversions.


Chemigation is an application method used in agriculture. Growers use injection systems to apply pesticides to crops. In Wisconsin, to apply chemigation an applicator has to be trained and certified in chemigation. The subcategory chemigation requires a person to first be certified in a base category. In the case of urban chemigation it would be category 3.0 (Turf & Landscape) then they would have to also get certified in subcategory 26 (chemigation). It can be done, but there are some things to keep in mind. As soon as you start to use an irrigation system to deliver a pesticide, that system has to be built in a specific way [ATCP 29.54]. “No chemigation system may draw water directly from a potable water supply,” [ATCP 29.54 (3)]. A potable water supply is a “well or other source of water which is used for human consumption, hygiene or preparation of food products” [ATCP 29.54 (1)(j)]. By definition, the city water supply is a “potable water supply”. Backflow systems have to be put in place. However, this is not required if the water supply for the irrigation system comes from a privately owned, watertight container or impoundment that has an air gap built into the system.

The irrigation system itself would have to be constructed in a specified way and if using an injection system that would also fall under some rules on how it should be built. Check systems, such as a barometric loop or a reduced pressure principle backflow preventer have to be put in place to be able to monitor for leaks and sudden loss of pressure, however there are conditions that have to be met for these.

A person has to be at the site while chemigation is occurring when there are sensitive sites that might be affected by drift or over spray. In the case of urban applications, that would be sidewalks, roads, other people’s property or sensitive plants. If these do not apply, then an operator would still have to check, being present on hourly increments.

Finally, one of the more restricting conditions that urban chemigation would have to face is that the pesticide used would have to be labeled for such a thing. The possibility of drift and run-off may pose a large risk, many companies may not want to take on the liability. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) have taken the stance that they would allow urban chemigation if the label specifically has that use on it [ATCP 29.54 (5)(e)]. As of writing this article, I have not come across a label allowing this. Most have not addressed it at all or have said, “Do not apply this product through any type of irrigation system.” This means that if the label does not specifically have this use on it, doing it would put all liability on the applicator and you would be in violation of ATCP 29.

ATCP 29.54

Audio (MP3)


Turf, Landscape and Natural Areas Pesticide Applicators: Don’t Forget the Landscape Registry!
By Steve Tomasko, PAT Senior Outreach Specialist.

If you apply pesticides to areas around homes, businesses, parks or other areas where people are likely to be near, you might have to give certain people advance notice of your intended application.

In Wisconsin, people can request to be notified in advance of any landscape application made by a commercial applicator for hire to a property on their block of residence or on any adjoining block. Note that these are not your customers but people who may live near your customer. People do this by signing onto what’s called the “Landscape Registry” through the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Commercial applicators must check this list before making an application to see who they must notify.

What kinds of applications fall under this rule? Primarily those taking place in or near residential or business areas. Technically, any time you make an application to a “Landscape” as a for hire applicator you need to check the Landscape Registry beforehand to make sure you give proper prior notice. What is a “Landscape?” Wisconsin state law defines a “Landscape” as any:

Turf, ornamental, or mulched area, including an area being prepared for such a purpose, that is in or around residential premises, public or commercial facilities, parks, workplaces, care facilities, recreational areas, or public lands.

That definition is kind of a mouthful. In essence it comes down to areas where the general public is likely to be present.

So, if you are hired to make an application in a Landscape, you will need to check the Registry ahead of time. If there is a person who has signed up for notification within a block of your application site, you must notify them at least 12 hours before your application. You can give the notice by telephone, mail or by personally delivering a notice to the requester’s address as listed in the registry. If you give notice by mail, the letter must be postmarked at least 2 business days before you make the application. If you have to reschedule the application, you must re-notify the person.

Here is the list of information you need to give to the person on the Registry:

How do you find out who to notify? DATCP maintains a searchable online database of people who have signed up for the registry. You can use the search function or print the entire registry.

However, to avoid confusion, you will not be able to search the registry from November 1 through February 28, while the list for the new year is being updated.

The Landscape Registry Database

Audio (MP3)


WPS Annual Training, What Needs to be Covered
By Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager.

The PAT Program has been writing articles regarding the new Worker Protection Standard rules over the past several months or you may have heard about them elsewhere. One new rule that has gotten a fair amount of attention is that employers now have to give annual training of workers and handlers. In the past rules, that had to be given to new employees and redone every five years.

Three questions that keep coming up are, "If my employees are certified, do they need to be given annual training?" The answer to this one is no. If your employees are certified applicators they do not need to receive annual WPS training.

The second question is "Who can do the training?" Either individuals who have gone through a train the trainer program for WPS or any certified applicator can do the training. Iowa State University offers a WPS Train the Trainer training online. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will accept a certificate from Iowa's online course to be able to provide WPS training.

The third question may take a little more writing, "What has to be covered in the annual WPS training?" The following are the minimum topics that have to be covered in the trainings. This list of topics has been taken from the EPA web site "Safety Training for Pesticide Workers and Handlers."



The EPA is presently updating the “How to Comply with the Worker Protection Standard” manual. The EPA is also presently in partnerships with universities around the US to create learning and training material. Online material and DVD trainings will become available as they are developed. If you have questions regarding WPS feel free to contact your county educator or the PAT Program directly.

EPA Training Materials


Worker Protection Standards (WPS) - August Edition

WPS Update - November Edition

Audio (MP3)


DriftWatch: A Tool for Applicators to Help Avoid Drift Issues
By Steve Tomasko, PAT Program Senior Outreach Specialst.

As a pesticide applicator, you know you need to avoid drift. When the pesticide you apply drifts off-target it can harm non-target animals, plants, people and contaminate the environment. This can be especially problematic when making applications in agricultural areas, when the next farm over might be growing pesticide-sensitive crops, such as grapes, orchards, organic vegetables or beehives.

DriftWatch is an internet-based tool that can help you, as an applicator, determine precisely where such sensitive areas might be. The free site started in Indiana but has since spread to 11 other states and one Canadian province. How it works is that beekeepers, growers of sensitive crops or managers of ecologically sensitive areas can register their sites online. You, as a pesticide applicator can then easily locate registered sites before you spray using a Google Maps interface. The map interface clearly shows you the locations of registered areas so you can take the appropriate precautions before spraying.

Besides crops, some map layers also include other important information such as the location of wind turbines, atrazine prohibition areas, and outstanding and exceptional water bodies.

Although you do not have to register to use the site, applicators can register (for a fee, see the website) and then you will get emailed updates on changes to the site and as new sensitive sites are added to areas where you frequently make applications. But again, you may use the site for free if you wish.

When the site was first launched, it was just called “DriftWatch” and was fairly easy to navigate. An update and reorganization of the site has, in my opinion, made it just a tad less user-friendly. Now when you go to, the site actually has the title “FieldWatch” and is further separated into “DriftWatch” and “BeeCheck.” DriftWatch and BeeCheck are for growers and beekeepers to register their sites. FieldWatch is for applicators to register. The home page also makes it look as if you do have to register to use it, as that is the prominent feature on the page.

However, by clicking the “FieldWatch Map” menu link at the top of the page, and then clicking the State of Wisconsin on the map, you get to the Google Maps interface where you can zoom in or out to find areas where you will be spraying and see if there are any sensitive areas close by.

Despite the slightly less friendly website (really, it’s just a couple clicks to get to the maps page) this is a very useful tool for applicators to help avoid problems. You should always be doing what you can to avoid drift with every application you make, however, with DriftWatch, you can pinpoint areas that might be especially sensitive. You certainly do not want to kill someone’s grapes or bees that happen to be just across the fence or road from your application site. Not only could that result in fines from DATCP, but you might also have to pay damages to the people whose crops you damaged.

Audio (MP3)


Wisconsin's Polinator Plan Comment Period is open
By Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager.

Wisconsin's polinator plant has been proposed by DATCP and is open for comment. Links to the plan and how to comment are available below. Please submit comments by Feb 19th.

Pollinator Plan Web Page

Audio (MP3)


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