Time for a License Update

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Can you identify these weeds?




Me neither, at least not before the class I attended this week on weed identification.  See, I have a private pesticide applicator's license. I can purchase and use restricted use pesticides on our farm or any land we rent.  I have to recertify every 3 years which means I take a 2-hour safety class and 2 hours of "extra" class on a topic related to pesticides.


A pesticide is anything that kills.  A rodenticide kills rodents.  An herbicide kills plants.  Fungicides kill fungus.  You get the idea. 

A restricted use pesticide is one that has greater potential to harm people or the environment. Many restricted use pesticides are are pesiticides that are commonly used by homeowners but what makes them restricted is that they have a greater concentration of the active ingredient. For example, the Roundup I buy at the local hardware store has a lower concentration of active ingredient than the Roundup I can buy with my private applicator's license to use on the farm.




The label is the law so one of the activities we did was to look at a label and identify different parts of it.  What is the active ingredient?  What pests does it kill?  What personal protective equipment do we need to wear when applying it?  What are the hazards? 


The classes are taught by Agriculture Agents with NC Coopertive Extension and inspectors from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Division


weeds on table.JPG


I didn't do so well on the quiz.  Luckily I have weed identification manuals, an app on my phone and I'm not the one making these decisions.  Really, I could let my license lapse, since I don't do any of that work on the farm.  But I've had it for 15 years and if I lose it, there is a test to pass if I ever want it back.  So I'm going to keep it. 


Oh, the weeds pictures above are kyllinga, yellow woodsorrel, virginia buttonweed and spurge.  Could you identify those four?