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Cold, and test-drive a new concept in pesticide labels


In honor of the arctic blast, here is another perspective on cold damage, from U of Arkansas:

It's a 4-part series of websites discussing different aspects of winter damage in turf.

*Phytotoxicity and pesticide labels*

Like most of you, I have experienced the "fun" of reading pesticide labels. But, it is important for many reasons. Here's an article that reminds us of ONE particular reason why it is important:

This article talks about phytotoxicity (chemical damage) in ornamentals, but I've seen plenty of warnings on turf products as well ("do not use this product on species X or doom will follow...")

*Speaking of labels*

I came across some label news through a fruit listserv that I am on. The EPA is considering some changes to labels. In particular, they are considering changing to a web-based format where you can create a specific label that is tailored to the sites and plant species that you manage.

For example you can type in your state, a product, your type of site (golf course, for example), targeted pest (select from pull-down list), etc, and then a customized label comes up. The test-drive link is below

Here's the info (from Iowa Grape News)

"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may soon be implementing a new streamlined web label distributing system that will eliminate the hardcopy label on the container. The EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) is exploring a new initiative called “Web Distributed Labeling” (WDL) that would make the most current version of pesticide labeling available to users via the Internet or phone. The EPA OPP announced its intent to put a WDL “User Acceptance Pilot” in the Federal Register on 8-18-10. The EPA OPP is asking pesticide applicators to participate in this pilot program and then tell EPA what they think of of the WDL using short survey via Survey Monkey.

This is a GREAT idea! This streamlined web distributed labeling system has a huge potential to increase the efficacy of our pesticide labeling and application technology resources that could become available at our fingertips in the field. I HIGHLY recommend you go to the WDL pilot site, view some streamlined labels and then take the short Online anonymous survey. You start out by taking a test drive here:

EPA will use the survey results to decide whether or not to move forward with web-distributed labeling."

5 Responses to “Cold, and test-drive a new concept in pesticide labels”

Joey Young said...

Thanks for including the information from Arkansas. It is good information that was recently sent out to our turf list serve for the second year in a row. Hope we thaw out soon.

Michael said...

Yep, I realize that reading labels is not 'fun'. But as hard as they are to read, try writing one! ;-)

Us company folks are trying to improve though. We frequently get input from end users and university scientists while in the draft stage. And my other thought is that much of the language found on labels these days is by mandate from EPA. Not throwing EPA under the bus, but it does complicate what we put on a label.

Megan said...

Yes, Michael, I am sure it is not fun at all to write these things! And, as company folks, you guys probably have to read them even more than any of the rest of us so that you are totally familiar with all the details of your own products.

Any comments from you about this new web-based custom label-maker? Will it make your lives easier? Harder?

I thought they might end up being a little TOO custom. For example, if you type in "dollar spot, preventative" you'll only see info for "dollar spot, preventative". Often it is useful to compare a couple of diseases side by side on a label (for rates, etc), or compare preventative vs curative side by side.

Jon Lobenstine said...

I agree with Megan. I'd much rather have all the information about a product at my fingertips rather than having to keep going back through the web tool to find rates for preventative/curative control of different diseases. Most turf managers are typically facing disease pressure (especially in the summer) from a number of pathogens at the same time.

Anonymous said...

..from correspondence between Greenbook Group and CropLife America. credit US EPA for posting the entire letter in pdf format..

"from CLA...."

One of our members quickly did a detailed comparison of a sample “streamlined” label
from the WDL web site to the corresponding specimen label from the registrant’s web
site. The significant discrepancies listed below were discovered. These details are
essential for the applicator to have in planning use of a pesticide and complying
properly with FIFRA requirements.

This is a summary of the differences:
- WDL Label Version does not match (it is older) what is on web sites of the registrant
and other label vendors
- WDL uses abbreviated product name
- WDL missing product description
- WDL missing signal word and warning statements
- WDL missing emergency phone number statements
- WDL missing Hazards to Humans and Domestic Animals
- WDL missing Engineering Controls Statements
- WDL missing User Safety Recommendations
- WDL missing Spray Drift Management statements
- WDL missing Mixing and Loading Requirements
- WDL missing No-Spray Zone Requirements
- WDL missing Runoff Management
- WDL missing Endangered Species Notice
- WDL missing Resistance Management statement
- WDL missing Ag Use Req box (EPA required)
- WDL missing S&D box (EPA recommended)
- WDL missing portions of Storage and Disposal statement
- WDL missing Application Directions pertinent to all types of applications
- WDL missing Mixing, Compatibility Instructions pertinent to all types of applications
- WDL missing Chemigation instructions pertinent to all use sites
- WDL missing Rotational crop section
- WDL restates application directions
- WDL missing specific example crop
- WDL missing specific example pest
- WDL missing application rate conversion chart

Futher, we found that the WDL was missing First Aid instructions, Container Disposal, and several other items.

WDL is "a GREAT idea"..! But, consider the source of the data and you will find that it is neither complete nor accurate in the present form developed after nearly six years of functional design. Fewer than a dozen MFRs place their products in the Greenbook database today and only half of those are involved in the Golf industry.

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