Compiled by Wayne Buhler and Wayne Mitchem, Department of Horticultural Science
Growers utilizing paraquat for non-selective POST weed control will have to adhere to new legal requirements to use this herbicide in 2020. All herbicide products containing paraquat-dichloride (“paraquat”) are restricted-use pesticides marketed under various trade names (Gramoxone, Para-SHOT, Parazone, Quick-Quat, Firestorm, Helmquat, etc.).
New labeling of these products will require any person who uses paraquat must be a “certified applicator” (licensed commercial or private applicator) and successfully complete the “How to Safely Use and Handle Paraquat-Containing Pesticides” training. The term “use” includes mixing and loading the pesticide; applying the pesticide; and other pesticide-related activities, such as transporting or storing opened pesticide containers, cleaning equipment, and disposing of excess pesticides, pesticide containers, and other paraquat-containing materials. The paraquat training certificate is not required for purchasing the product, but an RUP certificate or pesticide license is.
Noncertified persons working under the supervision of a certified applicator are prohibited from using paraquat including any of the “use” activities mentioned above which is a BIG change in the label and pesticide use requirement.
The online training is being revised by the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) and is expected to be available early-January 2020. Spanish versions of the online training (both Mexican Spanish and Puerto Rican Spanish) are expected to follow the English version. Online training can be accessed by visiting www.usparaquattraining.com.
Also, materials for face-to-face training (PowerPoint presentation) are currently being developed and should be available for use in early January. These materials will cover the same content as the online version of the training.
The new paraquat label will include a link to the online training. Once the certified applicator successfully completes the training, a certificate will be automatically generated. Per the new labeling, applicators are required to retain certificates of training completion. The training must be retaken every three years.
- EPA is allowing the sale of paraquat that is already in the channels of trade, so some paraquat available for purchase may NOT have the new training requirement on the label.
- Growers that currently have a supply of paraquat that DOES NOT have the new labeling listing the required training ARE NOT required to complete the training.
For a complete overview of the requirements see: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/paraquat-dichloride-training-certified-applicators