WPS and Farm Families

Farmers and their immediate families (see Terms to Know) must comply with only four sections of the WPS: the employer information exchange, restrictions during handling tasks and restrictions during and immediately after application. Farmers who employ nonfamily members must follow all WPS requirements.

Information Exchange

This section requires farmers to provide the following information to the employer of any custom applicator or crop consultant they hire:

  • Specific location and description of all areas being treated with a pesticide within a quarter-mile of where the custom applicator or consultant will be working.
  • Specific location and description of all areas under “Restricted Entry Interval” (REI) within a quarter-mile of where the custom applicator or consultant will be working.
  • Any restrictions for entering areas under application of REI.

In return, the employer of the custom applicator must provide farmers with the following information before applying pesticides on the farm:

  • Location and description of area to be treated.
  • Time and date of application.
  • Product name, EPA registration number and active ingredient(s).
  • The pesticide’s REI.
  • Whether the product label requires verbal and posted warnings after application.
  • Any other specific requirements on the product label concerning protection of workers and others during or after application.

Restrictions during handling

Farmers must use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other work clothing listed on the pesticide label.  Requirements vary, depending upon the toxicity of the pesticide and the handling activity.

Restrictions during application

Farmers must make sure that each pesticide is applied so that it does not contact, either directly or through drift, anyone except appropriately trained and equipped handlers. They also must make sure that all people, except appropriately trained and equipped handlers, are kept out of areas being treated with pesticides.

Restrictions after application

Farmers must be sure that all individuals except trained and equipped handlers are kept out of areas that are under REI, generally between 4 and 48 hours.  When two or more pesticides with different REIs are applied at the same time, the longer interval must be followed.  If the field must be entered before the REI expires, the trained worker must be provided with PPE, and entry time must not exceed 8 hours in a 24 hour period of the REI.

Compiled by Wayne Buhler, PhD.

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