In 1990 California became the first state to require full reporting of agricultural pesticide use. Under the full use reporting regulations growers are required to report monthly the pesticides they use to the agricultural commissioner of the county in which the pest control work was done. Specifically, there are 17 pieces of information that the grower is required to report for each pesticide application:
- month and year of the application(s)
- county in which work was done
- geographic location including the section, township, range, base, and meridian
- field location
- operator ID/permit number
- operator name and address
- applicator name and address
- site ID
- commodity/crop/site treated
- acres or units planted
- acres or units treated
- date and time of application
- application method (air, ground, other)
- U.S. EPA/California pesticide registration number 1 of the pesticide product applied
- pesticide product name and manufacturer
- amount of product applied
- person who prepared the report
Almost as soon as the state began requiring pesticide use reporting computer software companies began to offer products to handle this chore electronically. The state also offered paper forms for fulfilling the new requirement. Today the state even has a computer program for submitting pesticide use reports called CalAgPermits.
However, whether you use the paper forms, the state online system or most commercial software, you still have to input a lot of very specific, detailed information in order to fulfill your pesticide use reporting duties. That is, with one exception.
There is a computer program that will fill out the entire pesticide use report for you with the exception of the day and time of the application. All you have to do is click on “Product Use Report.” Without any input from the grower it will fill out the location of the pesticide application, the products used, the EPA number of the products and all of the other information required on the pesticide use report except for the day and time of the application.
I find this program almost magical in its ease of use. It is as if it can read your mind. You don’t have to tell it where you sprayed or what you sprayed, it already knows! The only thing more amazing than the ease of use of this program is that so many growers are still not using it.
The name of the program is Agrian and it is free to growers. The only catch is that your pest control adviser must also write your pest control recommendations using Agrian, but most do so that shouldn’t be a problem. Agrian will then take the information from the recommendation and convert it to a pesticide use report. The grower has an opportunity to make any changes before submitting the use report. He then specifies the day and time of the application and clicks on “Save Report and Send to County.”
Agrian takes the drudgery out of pesticide use reporting. The grower no longer has to painstakingly list the locations of the applications or the EPA numbers of the products applied. He no longer has to calculate the total amount of material used. Because this information is already on the pest control recommendation there is no need to enter it again.
If you decide to use Agrian for your pesticide use reporting there are a few initial, one-time steps that you will need to take. First of all, go to Agrian and set up your free account. As part of your account you will be given a unique Agrian identifier. You then need to give that identifier to your pest control adviser and they will also give you theirs. Each of you will then enter the other’s Agrian identifier into your account under “Trust New Agrian User.” For more information on the Trusted Partner process click HERE.
Taking that step allows you to access your pest control recommendations from within the Agrian program. Up to this point you may have been receiving those recommendations in paper form or by email. However, to convert them electronically to pesticide use reports you will need to access them from within the Agrian program.
Once you and your PCA become “Agrian Trusted Partners” you will find your pest control recommendations on your home page under “Shared Reports.” You simply click on the recommendation that you are interested in and then click on “Product Use Report.” Agrian will then give you an opportunity to make any changes, fill in the day and time of the application and submit it electronically to your county agricultural commissioner.
Although I make it sound easy, you may have questions. Agrian offers free telephone support at (559) 437-5700 and also offers free web-based training.