Larger operations and larger equipment to cover more acres have changed how farmers purchase and handle pesticides. In the last 15 years, caged pesticide tanks have found a useful place on the farm and, in many cases, haven’t left.

These days the presence of empty caged tanks are subtle reminders of the piles of empty 2.5-gallon containers that used to occupy roadside ditches creating issues in the minds of nonfarm folks about the volume of plastic waste and possible contamination of streams and lakes and groundwater with pesticide residues. Thanks to the cooperation and support of ag industry groups, you don’t see piles of 2.5-gallon containers anymore.

Now The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance, a volunteer ag industry group of concerned individuals, manufacturers, retailers, recycling contractors, and regulatory experts is stepping up to take container recycling to a new level by supporting the efforts of moving empty caged pesticide tanks off farms.

Educating growers about the proper methods of rinsing and recycling caged tanks or mini-bulk containers as they are sometimes called is the focus of a free webinar being sponsored by The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance and its industry partners. Rinsing and Recycling Caged Tanks is scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on July 10. To register for the webinar, go to Farm Press/TPSA webinar – registration page.

Speakers for the webinar will include:

• Ples Spradley, teaching/Extension specialist with the University of Arkansas.

• Nancy Fitz, Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

• Scott McPheeters, corn producer, Gothenburg, Neb.

• Bryan Gran, vice president, business development, FarmChem.

 

Spradley coordinates the University of Arkansas’ Pesticide Safety Education Program. About 1,500 commercial applicators are trained on pesticide usage and safety and 4,000 private applicators are certified each year using the materials and equipment he provides.

Fitz is a chemical engineer in EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs. She has worked on policies and regulations regarding pesticide containers, containment, disposal, storage and transportation for more than 23 years including the August 2011 Pesticide Container and Containment Rule.

McPheeters has been rinsing and recycling IBC containers for more than 10 years. Most of the ridge-till corn that he farms with his father and two sons in central Nebraska is center-pivot irrigated. Along with field corn, they raise food-grade yellow and white corn and popcorn. He designs and builds some of his own equipment, enjoys both oxy-acetylene and arc welding and does maintenance and most repair work in the McPheeters farm shop.

Gran has worked for chemical manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, recycling industry and equipment distribution firms for more than 26 years. FarmChem, his current employer, is an industry leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of bulk and mini-bulk systems, including caged tanks, tank monitoring systems and accessories. Gran also serves as chairman of the board of TPSA.

Sponsors of the webinar include Bayer CropScience, IBC North America, Interstate Ag Plastics, Monsanto, NCG, TankLink and TPSA. The webinar is brought to you by Farm Press and Penton Marketing Services.

For more information on the speaker presentations and the webinar, go to www.TPSAlliance.org.