Pesticide Education for Urban and Small Acreage Users

Project Overview

MW16-003
Project Type: Enhanced State Grants
Funds awarded in 2016: $24,288.00
Projected End Date: 05/01/2018
Grant Recipient: University of Wyoming
Region: Western
State: Wyoming
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Caitlin Youngquist
University of Wyoming

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, display, extension, technical assistance, workshop, youth education
  • Pest Management: integrated pest management, precision herbicide use, weed ecology
  • Sustainable Communities: public participation, urban agriculture, urban/rural integration

    Abstract:

    While recent evidence shows that pesticide contamination in agricultural areas is decreasing, pesticide contamination of urban wells is increasing. Improper use of pesticides by urban and small acreage users is of particular concern to agricultural professionals, fam1ers and ranchers in Wyoming. Indiscriminate use of pesticides may foster resistance in weeds which negatively impact crop production in adjacent farmlands.   For example, glyphosate resistant kochia was confirmed in July 2015 in Washakie County, Wyoming.  The environmental consequences of improper pesticide use by small acreage and urban users may also result in sweeping policy changes and pesticide use restrictions which will negatively impact agricultural producers in Wyoming. Agricultural producers and professionals face a disproportionate amount of the risk and cost for improper use of pesticides by the general public.

    No training is required to purchase non-controlled use pesticides. To address this problem we will work with retailers, Weed and Pest Districts, and Conservation Districts in four Wyoming communities located in agricultural production zones. This project will target consumers purchasing non-controlled use pesticides at retail stores in four Wyoming communities. Project tasks will include developing a new web page, collecting existing information and resources on pesticide use, developing a series of fact sheets, educating retail managers and employees, providing educational materials to customers at retail locations, and hosting small acreage workshops.

    Extension Educators in Washakie, Goshen, and Park Counties will lead the effort to develop and implement this program in their communities. The fourth community will be determined upon confirmation of funding.

    Project objectives:

    1. Develop additional web pages to add to the current UW Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) website (http://uwyoextension.org/psep/) by July I, 2016. These web pages will have videos and fact sheets about pesticide use on pastures, lawns and gardens that are gathered from existing programs in Wyoming and other states. This website will be mobile-friendly and provide information specifically tailored to small acreage and urban audiences.
    2. Design and print posters, banners, flyers, fact sheets and cards for display and distribution at retail stores by July I, 2016. Materials will also be distributed through local Weed and Pest Districts, Conservation Districts, and Extension offices. All items will include a QR code that links to the new PSEP web pages addressed in objective 1.
    3. Develop a series of six one-page fact sheets that are engaging and easy-to-read that provide basic information about pesticide topics (eg. reading labels, selecting the right product, modes of action, exposure, and calibration). The first fact sheet will be published by May 1. Remaining fact sheets will be published during the summer and fall of 2017.
    4. Develop a set of resources for Extension Educators to use when working with retailers across the state. This would include: speaking points to use when engaging with store owners/managers, a short presentation and speaking points to use with store employees, a “cheat-sheet” for Educators on common pesticide products and their effectiveness for weed and pest issues found in Wyoming.
    5. Host a Train-the-Trainer event for UW Extension educators by February 28, 2017. Extension educators will be provided with the resources to help them provide better information to clientele and work with retailers in their areas.
    6. Host a small acreage workshop in Washakie, Goshen, and Park Counties that includes a strong focus on pesticide education topics by March 30, 2017.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.