As soon as planting season is over, it will be time to start thinking about your crop protection program. But before you head out the fields to apply, are you sure you’re doing it effectively? That second guess is one of the reason’s BASF started their On Target Application Academy five years ago.
“It is an extremely critical application process and we are using the On Target Application Academy to help provide the information correctly to the growers and ag retailers so they can manage this product effectively, use it widely, and steward the product so we can have it available because it is going to be necessary to help us contain the resistant weed problem that we have had develop,” said Dr. Bob Wolf, Wolf Consulting & Research LLC.
Wolf, renowned for his 25 plus years of experience in application technology research and training pesticide applicators worldwide, developed the On Target Application Academy with BASF in 2012 to help educate growers, retailers, and custom applicators on how to correctly apply their dicamba Engenia herbicide.
“Most of my career revolved around researching spray nozzles and learning about how to use them so that we can use them to have better control of our pests,” Wolf said. “At the same time, while we are trying to achieve that goal, we want to use nozzles that would provide us the least amount of spray drift.”
Since then more than 13,400 individuals in 31 states have been trained on effective herbicide application. What started as a one-man show with Wolf has now evolved to a team of four instructors. With 158 plus Academies under their belts, the team has put more than 9,707 training hours into the program.
The 90 minute Academy covers the application aspects of using the product on soybeans and cotton. With a hands-on approach, applicators can see the differences in spray tips, learn how to correctly use a nozzle, and get a better feel for the nozzle type that has been suggested. The Academy reviews tips for a successful application, including drift mitigation and proper calibration. Wolf said the team is essentially educating people on how to use the product more effectively.
“We are always working for angles to do a better job on controlling the grower’s pests, but at the same protecting the environment,” Wolf said.
To augment the reach of the program’s accessibility to applicators, BASF is now bringing the Academy online. In the form of a digital training module, the Academy includes a series of educational videos that will teach growers best practices for herbicide applications. From more information from the Grow Smart University, visit: “Making an On Target Engenia Herbicide Application.”
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