Current Articles of Interest

Worker Protection Standards (WPS)
Pesticide-Production Report Update
EPA Announces Changes to Dicamba Registration
SDDA Fertilizer Fee Increase Notice
Suspicious Activity and Facility Security; fact sheets and information from TFI
SD Launches Sensitive Crop Registry

Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

On November 2015 USEPA revised the worker protection standards to implement more protection for agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. Most of the revised WPS standards became effective on January 2018. The WPS requires commercial pesticide handler employers to provide specific information and protections to workers, handlers when WPS-labeled pesticide products are used on agricultural establishments in the production of agricultural plants. 

Who is Included in WPS:

  • mixing, loading or apply agricultural pesticides
  • clean or repair pesticide agricultural equipment
  • assist with the application of pesticides

For more information:

Pesticide WPS Training Requirements

Pesticide handlers need WPS training annually. Exempt from the training requirement are Certified CCA’s, Commercial Applicator and Operators. A handler is an employee who assists with the mixing, loading, cleaning or repair of agricultural equipment that is not a certified CCA, commercial applicator or operator.

Who can perform the training for pesticide handlers?

  • Someone who holds a current pesticide applicator's license (in any category)
  • Someone who has completed an EPA-approved WPS Train-the-Trainer program.
  • Someone who has been designated as a trainer of certified pesticide applicators or handlers by a state, federal, or tribal agency having jurisdiction.

For more information:

WPS Respiratory Protection Requirements

Under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS), there are new requirements for pesticide handlers when pesticide labels require the use of a respirator.
Before pesticide handlers can use a respirator, they must receive:

  1. A medical evaluation by a physician or other licensed health care professional,
  2. Fit-testing with a taste/smell/irritating indicator, or with quantitative measurements, and
  3. Training about the use, care, and maintenance of the respirator.

For more information:

WPS Training for Pesticide Handlers click on following link:

Pesticide-Production Report Update

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 7 requires that production of pesticides, active ingredients or devices be conducted in a registered pesticide-producing or device-producing establishment. ("Production" includes formulation, packaging, repackaging, labeling and relabeling.) Production in an unregistered establishment is a violation of the law. Information on pesticide establishments is tracked through the Section Seven Tracking System. A list of active EPA-registered foreign and domestic pesticide-producing and device-producing establishments is available. Additional limited information on establishments is available online at

EPA Announces Changes to Dicamba Registration

On October 31, 2018, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is extending the registration of dicamba for two years for “over-the-top” use (application to growing plants) to control weeds in fields for cotton and soybean plants genetically engineered to resist dicamba. This action was informed by input from and extensive collaboration between EPA, state regulators, farmers, academic researchers, pesticide manufacturers, and other stakeholders.

“EPA understands that dicamba is a valuable pest control tool for America’s farmers,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By extending the registration for another two years with important new label updates that place additional restrictions on the product, we are providing certainty to all stakeholders for the upcoming growing season.”

The following label changes were made to ensure that these products can continue to be used effectively while addressing potential concerns to surrounding crops and plants:

Dicamba registration decisions for 2019-2020 growing season

  • Two-year registration (until December 20, 2020)
  • Only certified applicators may apply dicamba over the top (those working under the supervision of a certified applicator may no longer make applications) 
  • Prohibit over-the-top application of dicamba on soybeans 45 days after planting
  • Soybeans remain at 2 over-the-top applications
  • Applications will be allowed only from 1 hour after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset
  • In counties where endangered species may exist, the downwind buffer will remain at 110 feet and there will be a new 57-foot buffer around the other sides of the field (the 110-foot downwind buffer applies to all applications, not just in counties where endangered species may exist)
  • Clarify training period for 2019 and beyond, ensuring consistency across all three products
  • Enhanced tank clean out instructions for the entire system
  • Enhanced label to improve applicator awareness on the impact of low pH’s on the potential volatility of dicamba
  • Label clean up and consistency to improve compliance and enforceability

The registration for all dicamba products will automatically expire on December 20, 2020, unless EPA further extends it.
EPA has reviewed substantial amounts of new information and concluded that the continued registration of these dicamba products meets FIFRA’s registration standards. The Agency has also determined that extending these registrations with the new safety measures will not affect endangered species.  Read more from the EPA.

SDDA Fertilizer Fee Increase Notice

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture is notifying all commercial fertilizer distribution license holders who sell or distribute commercial fertilizer and manipulated manure in South Dakota of a fee increase.

Due to the passage of House Bill 1264 during the 2018 legislative session, fees on fertilizer will increase on July 1, 2018 to $.90 per ton for commercial fertilizer, and $.80 per ton for manipulated manure products.

House Bill 1264 authorizes South Dakota State University to build a precision agriculture building on campus and provides funding for that project. One of the funding sources for this project is a $.25 increase to the fertilizer inspection fee.

As of July 1, 2018, the fertilizer inspection fee will be distributed as follows:

  • 15 cents-South Dakota Department of Agriculture fertilizer inspection program
  • 50 cents –Nutrient Research and Education Council
  • 25 cents – Precision Agriculture Fund

For additional information contact the Office of Agronomy Services at 605.773.4432. A copy of House Bill 1264 is available at this link.  

Tom Gere, Assistant Director
Division of Agricultural Services

Suspicious Activity and Facility Security; fact sheets and information from The Fertilizer Institute

The safe and secure handling of commercial fertilizers is paramount. In coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), we have compiled key documents and information that may be of interest to the fertilizer industry and agribusinesses.
DHS has made available the following information and fact sheets:

Suspicious activity should always be reported to the FBI to prevent the illicit use of materials. Suspicious activity can be reported by calling 1-855-TELL-FBI (or 1-855-835-5324).

The FBI Chemical Countermeasures Unit is available to work with industry and provided the following information on a series of education programs they administer that may also be of interest. If you would like more information and/or to schedule a meeting with the appropriate personnel at the FBI, you can reach out directly to Justin Louchheim at TFI (202-515-2718) or Lisa Parnpichate at the FBI (202-324-1117).  

South Dakota Launches New Sensitive Crop Registry Providing Online Mapping for Specialty Crops and Honey Bees

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) announced a new partnership with FieldWatch, Inc. to introduce a new sensitive crop registry that will enhance communication between applicators and producers in South Dakota. FieldWatch is a not-for-profit company with existing registries in multiple states across the country. The new partnership will facilitate increased awareness and communication as part of ongoing stewardship activities.

The FieldWatch platform will allow beekeepers and commercial producers of specialty crops (such as tomatoes, fruit trees, grapes and organic crops) to register and map their sites online with an easy-to-use mapping tool and provide contact information about their operation. Pesticide applicators can access the site to help determine the scope and location of specialty crops and beehives in their areas. Registered applicators can sign up to receive email notifications when new specialty crop fields or beehives are added to their designated state, county or areas.

The new registry is free and voluntary to use. Both commercial and hobby beekeepers can use the system, however only managers and owners of specialty crop fields that are used for commercial production and are of at least a half-acre in size will have fields approved by the state data steward. FieldWatch is not intended for homeowners or those with small gardens.

Pesticide applicators will have different options for viewing locations on the new system, including in new mobile apps coming this spring, but all users (applicators, producers, and beekeepers) will need to go to and create an account to get started. For additional resources you can also visit

 Worker Protection Standard Update

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a federal EPA regulation that primarily protects workers (people employed to perform work activities related to the production of agricultural plants) and pesticide handlers (people employed to mix, load or apply pesticides). On November 2, 2015, EPA revised the WPS, making significant changes to the rule’s requirements. To accomplish this, EPA added the new revisions to the end of the existing regulation.

Implementation of the revised rules are staggered over 3 years: 2016, 2017 and 2018. Until 2017, the existing regulations (subparts A, B and C of 40 CFR Part 170) will remain in effect with no changes. Compliance with most of the revised rule requirements (subparts D, E, F and G of 40 CFR Part 170) was effective beginning January 2, 2017. A table that summarizes the key provisions in EPA’s current WPS regulation and the 2015 revisions can be found online at

Everything you need to know about WPS can be found online at

  • How to Comply Manual
  • WPS Training Materials
  • WPS Handouts