Farm Food Safety Certification Training – January 23

Farm Food Safety Certification Training – January 23

A Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training is scheduled for Wednesday, January 23 at the Escambia County Extension Office in Cantonment, FL.  The PSA Grower Training curriculum is approved by the FDA to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

Who Should Attend? – Fruit and vegetable growers with farms that have an annual value of produce sold (based on a three year average) of $25,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more.

Benefits to Attending – The course will cover the requirements of the FSMA produce safety rule.  It will also cover key Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are necessary in a farm food safety plan.

Cost to Attend – The fee for the training is $25 for farmers and government/university employees ($125 for all others).  For general registration questions contact Jessica Lepper at  Participation for the entire training is required for the certificate.  Training materials and certificate are funded through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FAIN #U18FD005909).


Registration Deadline is January 17, 2019


  • 8:30 Registration and Refreshments
  • 9:00 Welcome and Introductions
  • 9:15 Module 1: Introduction to Produce Safety
  • 10:00 Module 2: Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  • 11:00 Break
  • 11:15 Module 3: Soil Amendments
  • 12:00 Module 4: Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • 12:45 Lunch
  • 1:30 Module 5: Agricultural Water Part 1: Production Water
  • 2:15 Part 2: Postharvest Water
  • 3:15 Break
  • 3:30 Module 6: Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • 4:30 Module 7: How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan
  • 5:00 Final Questions and Evaluations

Pesticide CEUs and Exams – Central Panhandle Pesticide Series – February 18-21

Pesticide CEUs and Exams – Central Panhandle Pesticide Series – February 18-21

The Central Panhandle Pesticide Training Series is a multi-county collaboration between Holmes, Washington, and Jefferson County Extension agents. The series is scheduled for February 18-21st and will take place this year in Chipley, at the Washington County Extension Office.

This series offers a wide variety of pesticide CEUs, including categories that are harder to find such as natural areas and aquatics. If you are interested in obtaining a new license, adding a category or are still in need of CEUs for renewal, don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Registration is $10/session and refreshments will be provided. The different sessions serve as a review for the titled exam session or can be used to obtain CEUs. For more information or pre-registration, you can contact the Washington County Extension Office: 850-638-6180.

Central Standard Time:
February 18th: 7:45am-11:30am – Core session followed by Exam (4 487 & 2 482 CEUs)
February 19th: 7:45am-11:30am – Private/Row Crop session followed by Exam (3 CEUs)
February 20th: 7:45am-11:30am – Right-of-Way session followed by Exam (4 CEUs)
——————–Natural Areas (2 CEUs)
——————–Demonstration and Research (2 CEUs)
——————–Private (2 CEUs)
February 21st: 7:45am-11:30am – Aquatic session followed by Exam (4 CEUs)
——————–Natural Areas (2 CEUs)
——————–Private (2 CEUs)

Download the event flyer:  Central Panhandle Pesticide Training Series 2019
Pre-registration can be done online through Eventbrite.

For more information or pre-registration, call the Washington County Extension Office: 850-638-6180

Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida Row Crops Expo – February 21

Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida Row Crops Expo – February 21

Join us on February 21st at the John F. Rhodes Civic Center (301 D’Olive Street, Bay Minette Alabama) for the 2019 Southwest Alabama-Northwest Florida Row Crops Expo.  The free event starts at 8 am with this educational line up of topics and presenters:

  • Cotton Production–Tyler Sanders Alabama Cooperative Extension
  • Economics of Crop Production–Nathan Smith Clemson University
  • Crop Diseases–Bob Kemerait University of Georgia
  • Corn Production–David Wright University of Florida
  • Insect Control–Mark Abney University of Georgia
  • Irrigation Management–Mike Mulvaney University of Florida
  • Soil and Fertility Issues–Audrey Gamble Auburn University
  • Peanut Production –Kris Balkcom Auburn University
  • Soybean Production–Ed Sikora Auburn University
  • Weed Control –Steve Li Auburn University

To register, please call 251-937-7176 or email

EPA Registrations for Dicamba and Chlorpyrifos Use in Row Crops

EPA Registrations for Dicamba and Chlorpyrifos Use in Row Crops

Traditional cotton with dicamba drift injury on one row vs healthy. Photo - Jay Ferrell

Traditional cotton with dicamba drift injury on one row vs healthy. Photo – Jay Ferrell

The past two months have been life altering for many farmers in the southeast, especially the Florida Panhandle. Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Panhandle on October 10th and left a path of destruction spanning several counties as it continued into Southwest Georgia. With the aftermath of Michael, farmers from Walton to Gadsden counties were left without power and severe damage to crops and equipment.

On October 31st, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it was extending the registration of Dicamba for over-the-top (OTT) use for weed control in transgenic cotton and soybean. Dicamba products approved for use on dicamba-tolerant crops include Engenia (BASF), XtendiMax (Monsanto), and FeXapan (Corteva). This announcement came during a period when much of Jackson and Calhoun Counties, a large cotton producing area, wwere without power. The purpose of this article is to help promote the announcement and raise awareness regarding label changes for products approved for use in Dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean. Another product to follow is chlorpyrifos, better known as Lorsban, which, depending on outcomes of legal/regulatory proceedings, will likely still be available for use during the 2019 season.


Along with the EPA announcement of the two-year extension in registration of dicamba products used in row crops (now through 2020), new restrictions were revealed that will be integrated into product labels. It is imperative that growers read these labels and understand what these changes mean regarding product use. Dicamba is currently registered for OTT use in cotton and soybean in 34 states, including Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

In 2019, only restricted use pesticide applicators will be allowed to make applications. The purchase and application of dicamba products used on herbicide tolerant crops will not be permitted by those without a pesticide license and the appropriate category, even under the supervision of a licensed applicator. This means that authorized purchasers on an applicators license will no longer be able to purchase the products, only the certified applicatorthemselves. Everyone must now have their own license if they wish to buy or apply these products registered for use on Dicamba-tolerant crops. Depending on their situation, Florida growers will be required to have a Private Applicator or commercial license with the Row Crop category. Obtaining a license means individuals must pass the two necessary pesticide exams with at least a 70 percent, the Core exam and the category exam (Private or Row crop). Exams can be administered at your local Extension Office, but please call ahead to make an appointment. They can also help you decide which license designation (private or commercial) bests applies to your situation. On top of having a restricted use pesticide license, applicators will also be required to attend a 2019 dicamba training, which will be similar to what was provided in March 2018. All individuals who will want to purchase or apply these products (or want the future option) during the 2019 season will need to attend the new dicamba training, regardless of if they attended the one in 2018. A training date has not yet been selected for Florida, but it will likely be a similar timeframe to the 2018 training. Early spring probably around March, using a web format, broadcast from one central location to participating Extension Offices. The date will be announced once the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has finalized the specifics, stay in contact with your local Extension Office.

The training will address updates to product labels such as the postemergence application window, number of applications, buffer zones, sensitive areas, application hours, record keeping, spray solution pH, and more.

For more information regarding the 2019 dicamba updates, check out the links below:
Registration of Dicamba for Use on Dicamba-Tolerant Crops
EPA Announces Changes To Dicamba Registration
Dicamba: Moving Forward- 7 Label Changes


Since 1965 chlorpyrifos has been used as a pesticide in the agricultural sector. It is commonly used as an insecticide in the production of crops such as corn, peanut, and soybean, among others. It is recognizable to most farmers under the brand name Lorsban. Chlorpyrifos is a cholinesterase inhibitor which can cause problems in people exposed to high enough doses. This means that it can overstimulate the nervous system resulting in symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and confusion.

Since 2000, the EPA has evaluated and modified the use of chlorpyrifos several times. In 2017, the EPA denied a petition requesting to revoke of all pesticide tolerances (residue level allowed in food) for the chemical and for the cancellation of all chlorpyrifos registrations. On August 9, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos within 60 days. In September the EPA appealed the decision, and the Department of Justice asked the Ninth Circuit to reconsider its opinion. Over 100 days have passed since the ban was requested with the 60-day deadline, and it appears that chlorpyrifos will remain available for use until the legal/regulatory proceedings are finished.

For more information regarding the 2019 use of chlorpyrifos or the EPA’s history regarding this product, check out the links below:
Lorsban should be available for 2019 use, MSU finds


West Florida Right of Way and Aquatic Training – December 18

West Florida Right of Way and Aquatic Training – December 18

Do you need to get a right of way or aquatic category pesticide license, or need CEUs to renew your current license? Join us on December 18, 2018 at the Escambia County Extension office located at 3740 Stefani Road, Cantonment, Florida for an informative day that will help prepare you to take the exams which will be offered later in the day. Registration starts at 7:30 with the class starting at 7:45. Cost is $20 and includes lunch. You must pre-register by contacting either Libbie Johnson at 850-475-5230 ext. 109 or Bethany Diamond at 850-675-3107.  CEUs for both categories have been applied for, so if you need Right of Way or Aquatic CEUs, this is a great way to earn them.

Backpack Sprayer in Cogongrass. Photo by Jennifer Bearden

Friday Feature:  Farm Bureau’s This Farm CARES Program

Friday Feature: Farm Bureau’s This Farm CARES Program

This week’s video was produced by Florida Farm Bureau to showcase their “This Farm CARES” program.  CARES is an acronym for the County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship Program.  This recognition is given out to Florida farmers who are doing an outstanding job implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect water quality and conserve natural resources.

Since 2001, the Florida Farm Bureau Federation has recognized nearly 800 Florida farm families throughout the state for their commitment to protecting natural resources through the CARES program. CARES, also known as the County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship, not only honors our farmers/ranchers through public recognitions but also through consumer outreach and education to teach all Floridians how farmers/ranchers protect the environment every single day. Caring is their calling and Farm Bureau is proud to tell their story! #ThisFarmCARES

Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s CARES Program from the Florida Farm Bureau Federation.


If you enjoyed this video, you might want to check out the featured videos from previous weeks:  Friday Features

If you come across an interesting or humorous video, or a new product innovation related to agriculture, please send in a link, so we can share it with our readers. Send video links to:  Doug Mayo