Commercial – Tools and Information

PAT Tools

Rules and Regulations – This fact sheet lists many of the rules and regulations discussed in your training manual. It includes links to the laws themselves, or explanations of the laws.

Calibration Sheet – This is grid of amounts (in both fluid ounces (fl. oz.) and milliliters (mls) that an applicator needs to catch from a nozzle at a specified GPA, speed, and nozzle width.

Dual Notice List – A list of Dual Notice pesticides registered for use in Wisconsin. Certain notification restrictions can apply before using one of these products.

Field Application Techniques – A bulletin giving tips on proper field application techniques of pesticides.

Insect Diagnostic Lab – Need an insect identification? Need guidance on insect management? The Insect Diagnostic Lab can help.

Laundering Pesticide Contaminated Work Clothes – If you are a pesticide applicator your work clothes can have some pesticides on them at the end of the day. North Dakota State University published this document to give guidance on how to deal with laundering your work clothes to avoid contamination your home or family member’s clothes.

Managing Pesticide Drift in Wisconsin: Field Sprayers – A bulletin describing how an applicator can reduce spray drift.

On-Farm Posting Flow Chart – Posting can be a confusing thing, this flow chart can help in understanding when to post and how to.  Try our Posting Tool below.

Pesticide Drift – Produced and hosted by the NPM program.

Posting Tool – Posting and notification of pesticide applications can be a complicated process. This tool will walk you through when, where, and how you have to post and notify people of pesticide applications.

Recordkeeping Form – A form applicators can use to record their pesticide use.

Registration Form [ Commercial ] – Registration form to order, by mail, training manuals and/or register to attend a training session.

School Posting Flowchart – A flowchart to help applicators determine posting responsibilities when making pesticide applications on school grounds.

Special-Use Permit Flowchart – This flow chart helps applicator determine whether they need to obtain a special permit before using certain pesticides for the control of mammals, birds, or aquatic pests.

Sprayer Calibration Worksheet – This is a great worksheet that you can work through to calibrate your sprayer for area applications. Developed by Dan Marzu (ANR County Educator Lincoln County) for UW Extension and the PAT Program.

Turf & Landscape Posting Chart – A flow chart to help you determine posting responsibilities for those who apply on turf & landscapes (category 3.0).

Turf & Landscape Team – Questions about Turf & Landscape reach out to the team.

WiscWeeds – Information about controlling Weeds in Corn and Soybean.

Pesticides on The Home Front:

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Commercial Applicator License Application – Online License Application – Many commercial applicators not only have to be certified, they also have to be licensed. To apply for a license, fill out this DATCP form and mail to DATCP. Online Application Help Video.

Need to take a certification exam? Easily schedule your exam online here: Certification Exam Scheduling.

How to Comply Manuals – DATCP provides several “How to Comply” manuals. They provide manuals for Agricultural, Aquatic & Mosquito, Turf and Landscape and Structural applicators. These manuals provide checklists and have other information to help you comply with the regulations involved in pesticide use.

Landscape Registry – Property owners can be notified of landscape applications by registering on the Landscape Registry. Commercial applicators who apply pesticides in Turf & Landscapes have to check this Registry and provide notification of application to people who have signed up and are within one block of where they will be applying pesticides. List of registered properties.

Environmental Enforcement Specialists – List of DATCP’s inspectors by region.  DATCP’s Environmental Enforcement Specialists are a great source of information. Also, they are great at asking about “gray” areas.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Restricted Use Pesticides – EPA list of all RUPs in the US.

Consolidated Lists of Lists – This consolidated list of chemicals subject to reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act. Remember, that SARA Title III stuff we mentioned in the emergency section of the training? Some pesticide inventories have to be reported to Wisconsin Emergency Management and your county’s Local Emergency Planning Committee. At certain levels Emergency Management Plans are required.

Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

The Federal Worker Protection Standard is a law meant to protect agricultural workers from exposure to pesticides. It has been significantly revised over the past couple of years. The following links take you to more information about WPS. Worker Protection Standard How to Comply Manual

Worker Protection Standard Quick Reference Guide – If you own or manage a farm, production forest, greenhouse or nursery and employ non-family members you have to comply with WPS.  This Quick Guide can help you figure out what you have to do to be compliant.

WPS Respiratory Protection Guide – Under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) as revised in 2015, there are new requirements for pesticide handlers when pesticide labels require the use of a respirator.

Pesticide Educational Resource Collaborative (PERC) – Need training materials for WPS?

WPS Safety Posters

Agricultural commodity” means any plant or part of a plant, animal or animal product produced by a person primarily for sale, consumption, propagation, or other use by humans or animals. “Agricultural commodity” includes industrial hemp. [ 94.67(2) ]

Bulk Pesticide: “Any liquid pesticide in a container larger than 55 gallons (208 liters) or dry pesticide in undivided quantities greater than 100 pounds (45 kilograms).” Bulk pesticides fall under the rules outlined in ATCP 33. [ ATCP 29.01(8m) ]

Certified Applicator:  DATCP will certify an applicator when they determine that the applicator has met the pesticide applicator training knowledge requirements. They do this by passing a certification exam. Certification must be renewed every 5 years.

Commercial Applicator Types:
Commercial Applicator For-Hire
You are a commercial applicator for-hire if you apply or direct the use of pesticides for others on a contract basis and make those applications on property not owned by yourself or your employer. (Excepted from this definition is anyone who performs janitorial, cleaning, or sanitizing services if the person uses no pesticides other than sanitizers, disinfectants, and germicides.)

Commercial Applicator Not-for-Hire
You are a commercial applicator not-for-hire If you apply or direct the use of pesticides only to sites that your employer controls, and do not contract out your pesticide application services. (Excepted from this definition is anyone who applies only nonrestricted-use pesticides at their own home.)

If you mix or load (or direct the mixing or loading of) pesticides, but do not apply them, you can be considered a mixer-loader. To determine whether you are for-hire or not-for-hire, use similar criteria to those used above for commercial applicators. For example, if you mix or load pesticides for a commercial application business that contracts out its services, you are a mixer-loader for-hire.

Temporary Commercial Applicator Trainee Registration
A noncertified and nonlicensed individual beginning employment for a commercial applicator business may register as a trainee with DATCP to apply pesticides on a temporary basis (maximum 30 days). A trainee registration allows an individual to use non-restricted-use pesticides during his/her “hands-on” training conducted by the individual’s employer in preparation for that individual to become a certified, licensed applicator.

DATCP: The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. This is the regulatory agency that regulates pesticide use in Wisconsin.

Direct the Use:  To “direct the use” of a pesticide means to select or control the use of a pesticide, where the selecting or controlling individual has supervisory authority over the person using the pesticide.

Dual Notice Agricultural Pesticide: Is an agricultural pesticide whose label requires agricultural employers to do both of the following: a) Post application sites with worker protection warning signs and b) Give workers oral notice of applications. [ ATCP 29.60(9) ] [ List of Dual Notice Pesticides ].

Licensed:  A license from the DATCP authorizes a certified applicator to use pesticides. The license must be renewed annually. (You can compare certification to getting a driver’s license, and licensing to registering your vehicle: even with a driver’s license, you need to register your vehicle annually to be allowed to drive it.)

Landscape: Turf, ornamental and mulched areas, and areas being prepared for those purposes, that are located in or around residential premises, public or commercial facilities, parks, workplaces, care facilities, recreational areas and public lands. “Landscape” does not include utility or transportation right−of−way areas, greenhouses, nurseries, or areas used for agricultural production, forest production or commercial turf production.  Applications to the above definition have to follow the landscape rules.

PAT Number: This is a unique number given to you when you receive your training materials.

Private Applicator: A Private Applicator is an applicator who applies pesticides in order to produce an agricultural commodity AND does this on property they or their employer owns or controls.

Restricted-Use Pesticide (RUP): FIFRA directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to compare the benefits and risks of using a pesticide before the product can be sold in the United States; if the benefits outweigh the risks, the EPA will register the product for sale and use. However, if the EPA believes that the benefits of using a pesticide will outweigh the risks only when the pesticide is used by trained persons, it will classify the pesticide restricted-use. This classification must appear on the product label.

Use:  Use of a pesticide includes the following activities: mixing, loading, or applying a pesticide; handling an open pesticide container (other than an empty container which has been triple rinsed or cleaned to label specifications); disposing of pesticide or pesticide rinsate; cleaning or rinsing an open pesticide container, pesticide application equipment, or a mix or nurse tank; and any other activities which the pesticide label requires of the mixer, loader, or applicator.

This web page addresses the changes as they relate to the State of Wisconsin.

NOTE: We will update this web page as the State of Wisconsin rules adjust to the new requirements. Last updated: November 9, 2023.

Wisconsin Plan Accepted: The State of Wisconsin’s Certification Plan was accepted by the EPA. Now the State has the complex task of changing its laws to match their plan and the Federal laws. This is a long process and we may not see any effects of this till 2025.

Be aware that although State law has to meet these new requirements, a State can exceed the requirements. Meaning that a State can require additional requirements beyond those listed in the new rules.

DATCP’s How to Comply Manuals: [ ]

To purchase Training materials for certification: [UW PAT Store ]

What is this Certification & Training Thing?

As part of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA: CFR 40 part 171) applicators who use restricted-use pesticides (RUPs) have to go through a certification process that requires some form of training. Approximately 5% of pesticides are registered as restricted-use.  The basis of this rule is set by the EPA, then each state can add to it as needed. In Wisconsin, an example of an added rule is that commercial applicators that apply any pesticide (RUP or not) have to be certified.

The EPA has recently reviewed its portion of the Certification & Training rule and made revisions. This page will highlight some of the rules and how they relate to Wisconsin pesticide applicators. If you are reading this from another state, please look to the Pesticide Safety Education system or your state regulatory agency within that state.

The following information has been mined from various EPA Public Documents, predominantly from the “Detailed Comparison of Revisions to EPA’s Certification of Pesticide Applicators Rule (40 CFR 171).” [ ]

General EPA site for the rule – [ ]

Enhance Private Applicator Competency Standards

There are specific topics that have to be covered in the training. The topics are:

  • Label and Labeling comprehension
  • Safety
  • Environment
  • Pests
  • Pesticides
  • Equipment
  • Application techniques
  • Laws and regulations
  • Responsibilities for supervisors of noncertified applicators
  • Stewardship

In Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, applicators have a choice on whether they wish to participate in a live training or not. They can “Self-Train” by studying the training materials and taking the test or they can add a Zoom or in-person training if they wish also.

The training materials covers what is required by the EPA. Applicators are tested on material every five years. The manual has the bulk of information for training purposes and should be kept as a reference guide for the five years of certification. It contains:

  • Section I Pests – Insects and Their Relatives; Weeds; Plant Diseases; Rodents; Birds; Pests of Stored Grain and Livestock Pests.
  • Section II About Pesticides – Pesticides; Formulations
  • Section III Pesticides and the Law – Pesticide Regulations and The Pesticide Label.
  • Section IV Health Precautions – Pesticide Risks to People; Protecting Yourself; Responding to Pesticide Exposures; Heath Stress and Employee Training.
  • Section V – Transporting Pesticides; Storing Pesticides; Mixing and Loading and Managing Wastes.
  • Section VI Pesticide Emergencies – Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know and Pesticide Spills and Fires.
  • Section VII Applying Pesticides – Safety Concerns; Methods and Equipment and Calibration
  • Section VIII Keeping Pesticides on Target – Pesticides in the Environment; Overspray and Drift; Nontarget Organisms and Pesticide Resistance.

Strengthen Private Applicator Competency Gauge

In the new rules, Private applicators must either attend a training program covering the mandatory competency standards or pass a written exam.

In Wisconsin

Every applicator presently is required to pass a certification exam every five years.  Applicators can choose to “self-study” or attend a training; however, all options require taking the State’s certification exam.

Eliminate Non-reader Certification for Private Applicators

The EPA is removing the “non-reader” option for persons who cannot read to obtain certification to use specific RUP’s [171.11(c)(7)(H)(IV)].

In Wisconsin

There will be no change in Wisconsin. State rules require that applicators who seek certification show the ability to read and follow written pesticide labels. Due to the fact that pesticide labels are not mandated in other languages (at this time) other than English (some labels are available in Spanish), applicants who seek certification have to be able to read and follow an English Label.

Establish Additional Categories for Private and Commercial Applicator Certification

The EPA is requiring States to add the categories of a) aerial application; b) soil fumigation; c) and non-soil fumigation.

In Wisconsin

 Wisconsin already has these categories. Aerial application (category 9.9 commercial and 111 private); soil fumigation (Category 25 commercial and 107 private) and Space & Commodity Fumigation (Category 7.2 commercial).

Establish Predator Control Categories for Private and Commercial Applicator Certification.

This change promotes the creation of categories for specific uses. Examples of these are for the use of sodium fluoroacetate in livestock protection collars and sodium cyanide delivered through M-44 devices.  This will be left for the State to adopt or not. If the category is not needed in a State it will not be required.

In Wisconsin

Presently, DATCP requires that applicators obtain a joint DNR-DATCP permit for the use of sodium fluoroacetate and there are no uses labeled for sodium cyanide in Wisconsin. DATCP will consider if this category is necessary in Wisconsin.

Identification of Candidate for Certification and Recertification

The EPA rules will require a government-issued photo identification OR other similarly reliable form of identification approved by the certifying authority for initial certification and recertification by exam.

In Wisconsin

Nothing will change with Wisconsin’s current rules. Photo ID is required to take the certification test. Those that don’t have photo ID’s due to religious reasons can contact DATCP for further instructions.

Establish Exam Standards

All exams must be proctored. Only materials approved by DATCP can be provided during the test then collected by the proctor. Meaning no materials used during the test can leave with the applicator taking the test.

In Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, commercial applicators have to take and pass a closed book exam. Private applicators are given an “open book” exam. With each training fee, applicators get a General Farm (or Fruit Crop or Greenhouse & Nursery) manual. In the case of private applicators, they are allowed to use the manual during the test. In the new EPA rules that material could not leave the testing area.

How DATCP and the UW PAT program will comply is yet to be determined.  Several options are being weighed.  More on this as the implementation period progresses.

Establish a Minimum Age for Certified Applicators

The EPA has created a minimum age for those who work with restricted-use pesticides. Applicators, mixer and loaders, and people who work with application equipment that use will have to be 18 or older.

There is an immediate family member exemption. Persons who are being supervised by an immediate family member have to be 16 and over.

In Wisconsin

Wisconsin does not have a minimum age requirement for certifying applicators. Currently, commercial applicators cannot obtain an individual commercial pesticide applicator license until they are  16 years old. The age requirement for applicator certification will be raised to 18 in Wisconsin. Since Wisconsin has no “supervisory” role in commercial certification any applicator for-hire will have to be at least 18 years of age. Anyone under 18 will more than likely NOT be able to apply or work with.

Keep in mind that the Worker Protection Standard has set its minimum age to 18 also. Employees that are handlers are required to be 18 or over.

Establish a National Certification Period

The EPA’s final rule has set a national certification period at 5 years maximum.

In Wisconsin

In compliance. Wisconsin’s certification period is presently 5 years.

Recertification Requirements

Some States have a continuing education recertification process. Applicators have to attend set hours of continuing education over the certification period. Other states require that an exam be done to recertify.  In Wisconsin, we require the latter, a test has to be passed every five years.

The new rules require states to have a process for reviewing and updating as necessary the written examinations.

In Wisconsin

Training materials and exams are updated every 5 years. This is in compliance so no changes are required.

Commercial Applicator Recordkeeping

States must require commercial applicators to maintain specific records about RUP use.

In Wisconsin

Wisconsin requires commercial applicators to keep records of all applications for 2 years, or for 3 years if using atrazine and isoxaflutole. Private applicators are required to keep records of RUPs for 2 years, or 3 years for atrazine and isoxaflutole. Wisconsin recordkeeping requirements can be found in this DATCP factsheet: [ ]

RUP Dealer Recordkeeping

The new rules require businesses that sell RUPs to keep records. The information that these businesses have to keep are:

  • Name and address of each person the RUP was distributed or sold to.
  • The applicator’s certification expiration date, and categories of certification.
  • The products name and EPA registration numbers.
  • The quantity distributed or sold.
  • Date of transaction.

In Wisconsin

Wisconsin already requires that business that sell RUP must keep records for 2 years [ATCP 29.16]. The following has to be kept:

  • Pesticide brand name.
  • Pesticide manufacturer or entity doing the labeling.
  • EPA Registration number.
  • Amount sold or distributed.
  • The date of sale or distribution.
  • Name of purchaser or intended recipient and the commercial application business number, restricted use dealer license number, applicator license and certification number, if any.
  • Name and address of the person to whom the seller delivered custody of the pesticide, if other than the purchaser or intended recipient.

Businesses that do the above have to keep these records for two years and make the records available to DATCP for inspection. Also, each year dealers report the names and addresses of their pesticide suppliers and the amount of each pesticide sold or distributed in the past 12 months. This has to be submitted every year no later than October 30 [ATCP 29.15(9)].

Wrap Up

There are other rule changes; however, these are for various administrative requirements that the State’s regulatory agency, in our case DATCP, will have to comply with.

Many of the rules that the EPA have changed are designed to bring all states up to the same base level. However, each state is allowed to tailor their details to their objectives as long as they are within the requirements of the EPA’s rules.  This is an attempt to standardize things nationally, but a high degree of variability still exists. Luckily or unluckily, depending on how you feel, Wisconsin already had rules in place that met or exceeded these changes.

Updated: Changes to AEZ Requirements are still in the courts.

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a set of Federal standards designed to protect agricultural employees from occupational exposure to pesticides. The WPS was originally established in 1992 and revised in 2016. The new revisions go into effect in two stages. The first stage will go into effect January 2nd, 2017 and the second stage January 2nd, 2018. Below are some of the highlights of WPS. Not all the details are provided in this page, to get more detail see the code of federal regulation 170.

This manual provides a “how to” guide for complying with the WPS: How to Comply with the Worker Protection Standard

Pesticide Educational Resource Collaborative (PERC) Quick Reference Guide

National Worker Protection Standard (WPS): A Manual for Trainers of Agricultural Workers and Pesticide Handlers (English) / Ley Nacional de Proteccion al Trabajador: Manual para Capacitoadores


This regulation covers pesticides that are used in the production of agricultural plants on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses. So, if you employ people and use pesticides in the production of an agricultural commodity the WPS applies to you.

Definition of an Agricultural Plant:

“Agricultural plant” means any plant, or part thereof, grown, maintained, or otherwise produced for commercial purposes, including growing, maintaining or otherwise producing plants for sale or trade, for research or experimental purposes, or for use in part or their entirety in another location. Agricultural plant includes, but is not limited to, grains, fruits and vegetables; wood fiber or timber products; flowering and foliage plants and trees; seedlings and transplants; and turf grass produced for sod. Agricultural plant does not include pasture or range land used for grazing.

Who Needs Training?

PERC Training Suite

Pesticides in Forestry (approval # “EPA Worker PST 00003”)

Safety in the Greenhouse: Understanding and Applying the Worker Protection Standard. (EPA Worker PST 00026)

Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for Agricultural Workers – Great video for WPS for Workers on the farm [ EPA Worker PST 00028 ].

Covered Employee Types

The WPS groups employees into two groups. 1. Workers and 2. Handlers.

  • Worker: Workers perform hand labor tasks such as harvesting, weeding or pruning in a pesticide treated area within 30 days after an application.
  • Handler: employees, including a self-employed person, who performs tasks that directly involve pesticides. Handlers are those who mix, load or apply a pesticide or work on pesticide application equipment. Handlers must be at a minimum 18 years old.

Note that “Immediate Family” members are exempt from some (but not all) WPS requirements. Under the WPS, immediate family members include: spouse, parents, stepparents, foster parents, father-in-law, mother-in-law, children, stepchildren, foster children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and first cousins. NEW: first cousins were added, expanding the definition of immediate family.

Three Main Principles

The WPS uses three main principles to describe its requirements:

  • Information: Informing employees about the possible risks/hazards related to working with and around pesticides is the first step in them being able to avoid them. Some who may be employed may not have any knowledge of pesticides and not being informed may lead to an accident. If workers do not know that pesticides take time to breakdown and contact with plants, soil, equipment etc., they may not know how to avoid exposing themselves to pesticides after an application. Giving employees information includes annual training, posting the pesticide safety poster, and having a listing of what products have been used.
  • Protection: Employees may understand the possible risks/hazards related to working with and around pesticides, but if they are not provided the tools to avoid these risks/hazards accidents may happen. Employers must provide notification of which fields have been treated, provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and labels to the people who use pesticides.
  • Mitigation: No matter how well we train and prepare for accidents, they still can happen. If accidental exposure happens, it is important to have in place ways to reduce the impacts of those accidents. This includes supplying decontamination sites, eye flush supplies, transportation to medical facilities and having the information needed to facilitate medical help.

Let’s look at each of these with a little more detail.


Annual Training

NEW: In the past, training had to be conducted every five years. The new rules require all workers and handlers to go through annual training.

All handlers require annual training before they perform any pesticide handling activity. Workers must be trained before Must provide training before working in a pesticide-treated area tasks in treated areas or perform handler tasks.  A treated area is any area that has been treated with a pesticide up to 30 days after any “Restricted-Entry Interval*” expires. Workers or handlers that are certified applicators do not require annual training (their certification IS their training).

Who can Train

Any certified applicator (Private or Commercial) can provide the training. Individuals who have gone through an EPA-approved “Train the Trainer” program can also provide training. DATCP and the UW PAT Program recommends the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative’s online Course for educating people to become WPS trainers: [ PERK Online Training for Trainers ].

Training Requirements

  • EPA-Approved training materials have to be used in the training. These materials will cover the many topics that are required. As in the past, there will be movies available to use in training. These training materials are being developed by the Pesticide Educational Resource Collaborative. Click their logo below to go to the site.
Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) banner and logo.
  • See Appendix A below for a detailed list of required training topics.
  • The trainer must be present during the whole training.
  • Training records have to be taken and kept by the employer for 2 years:
    • Employee’s name (printed and signature)
    • Date of training
    • Information identifying which EPA-approved training material was used
    • Trainer’s name and documents showing that the trainer met requirement (pesticide certification number, “train the trainer” certificate number)
    • Employer’s name
  • Training has to be given in a manner that the employees understand. Training materials will be provided in several different languages to aid in this.
  • Worker and handler training have many of the same requirements, however handler training is more extensive and covers topics that workers do not require.
  • Provide specific information to your employees regarding YOUR specific operation, for example, where your information will be posted, how you are going to notify them regarding treated areas, etc.

NEW: New topics were added. Warnings regarding take home exposure were strengthened. Warnings not to take pesticide or their containers home, information about laundering work clothes, the increased risks to pregnant women and children, etc.

The Safety Poster

Worker Protection Standard safety poster.

The new safety poster is available and will require posting after Jan 2nd, 2018.  The poster is available at the PERC Web Site – Safety Poster

EPA released poster – Safety Poster

The safety poster is to be posted:

  • In a common area where employees will gather,
  • at permanent mixing & loading sites and,
  • at any decontamination site where 11 or more employees are working.

The safety poster should be filled out, providing the information for the nearest medical facility.

NEW: In the new poster and rules you will have to include the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s contact information. Each state will have different contact information.

Access to Specific Application Information

The Agricultural Use Requirements box provides information about the WPS
for Agricultural establishments.

The WPS requires that specific application information be posted. This is to be posted in the general access location, typically where your safety poster is posted. Pesticides without a “Agricultural Use Requirements” do not have to be posted. However, if it is labeled in Agriculture, it probably has one of these.  The following information must be posted:

  • Location of treatment
  • Product name
  • EPA Registration Number
  • Active ingredients
  • Date and approx. start and stop times
  • Duration of Restricted-Entry Interval (REI)

This information has to be posted for 30 days after the last REI expires.

NEW: as part of WPS posting requirements, employers need to make Safety Data Sheets (SDS) of all agricultural use products available. You can find product SDSs at or ask your dealer. One idea is to put all SDSs in a binder and leave that binder in the same location where you post your applications.

Providing access to Safety Data Sheets for
Employees is required,


Agricultural employers must inform workers of where pesticide applications have taken place and of the entry restrictions for each situation. They must provide this notification before workers are within ¼ miles of the treated area if they are to be in contact with agricultural plants.Workers that do NOT come in contact with treated plants, soil, water, or equipment are exempt from this. There are different ways to notify workers (oral, posting warning signs, or both) and different situations when to use one method or another. See your training manual for more information about this notification.

NEW: the posting of signs is required if the label requires it (Dual Notice Products) or if the product being used has an REI greater than 48 hours (outdoor applications) or greater than 4 hours (enclosed applications).


Employers must assure that handlers under their employ are not applying pesticides in such a manner as to expose other handlers, workers or other people.  Employees that are not intimidate family who do handler tasks (load, mix and apply) must be a minimum of 18 years of age.

Notification to Commercial Applicators

If you contract with a commercial applicator it is your obligation to notify the employer of the commercial applicator if the applicator is to be within ¼ miles of any areas under a REI. You are also required to warn them of any restrictions that may be on the label. I

Application Exclusion Zone (AEZ)

This is presently in courts. Stay tuned.

The Application Exclusion Zone (AEZ)

The application exclusion zone is something that has been added with the latest WPS revision.

The AEZ is a 25 or 100 foot exclusion zone where if anybody (excluding the applicator) enters, the application has to stop. The application can continue once the applicator can assure there is no risk of exposure to other people, essentially once the persons have left the AEZ.  Immediate family is exempt from all aspects of of the AEZ.

The AEZ is enforced within the boundaries of the agricultural establishment.  “Immediate family members of farm owners are now exempted from all aspects of the AEZ requirements. Farm owners and their immediate family are now able to shelter in place inside closed buildings, giving farm owners and immediate family members flexibility to decide whether to stay on-site during pesticide applications, rather than compelling them to leave even when they feel safe remaining” (EPA News Release).

100 foot AEZ for the following applications – Aerially, air blast, fumigants, smoke, mist, or fogs. Fine sprays used (median diameter less than 294 microns).

25 foot AEZ for the following applications – Applications greater than 12  inches above the target with medium or larger droplet sizes. (Medium to coarse is given at volume median diameter greater than 294 microns. See the specs of the nozzles you are using for indications of droplet size.)

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

It is the responsibility of the employer to provide additional PPE other than everyday work clothes.

  • Shoes, socks, long pants, long sleeved shirt, everyday work clothes – Employees’ responsibility
  • Gloves, respirators, rubber boots, aprons, spray suits, coveralls, eye protection – Employer’s responsibility

Required PPE will be listed on the label of the product being used. Employer has to assure that the PPE is maintained in the recommended manner by the manufacturer and clean.


When doing applications where the label requires respirators, an employer is responsible in assuring that respirators are provided, that the respirator fits the employee properly and are maintained according to the manufacturers specifications.

NEW: It is the employer’s responsibility to assure that employees receive respirator  fit-testing, training and medical evaluation.


No matter how well you prepare for an emergency or how you protect your employees, accidents can still happen. The WPS requires a standard of response when an accident occurs.

Decontamination Supplies

When a pesticide gets on our skin or in our eyes it starts to adsorb into our bodies. The hazard of this depends on many things including the specific product involved, the amount of exposure, and the product’s formulation. The longer that pesticide remains on our skin, the more that can potentially get into our bodies. Decontamination sites and supplies provided where workers and handlers are performing tasks expedites the removing of pesticides from the body.

Decontamination Supplies Include

Decontamination sites require the following:

  • 1 gallon of clean water / worker and 3 gallons / handler.
  • Plenty of soap.
  • Enough single-use towels to dry the body.
  • When using pressurized equipment or products that require eye protection, provided a system to flush eyes.
  • Provide coveralls or change of clothing for handlers.

Decontamination Supplies Location

Decontamination supplies have to be located within ¼ miles of workers and handlers working in treated areas. They also have to be provided at mixing and loading sites.

Medical Emergencies

if there is reason to believe that a worker or handler has been poisoned or injured by a pesticide used on the agricultural establishment the employer must make sure transportation to a medical facility is available. Employers can “make transportation available” by:

  • Taking the employee to the emergency medical facility.
  • Calling an emergency vehicle, such as an ambulance.
  • Making sure the employee has a ride to the medical facility with someone else.

Take or send the following along to the medical facility:

  • the SDS
  • Product name, EPA registration number, and active ingredient(s)
  • Description of how the pesticide was used
  • How the employee might have become exposed to the pesticide

Retaliatory Responses

An employer can not retaliate for any of the provisions afforded to workers and handlers by the WPS.

Request for Information

Employers must provide application information to past employees or their representatives up to 2 years after employment. The rule about allowing a representative to request information has been reopened and is being debated.


The following is taken directly from the Federal Code of Regulations.

170.401(c)(2) Minimum training topic requirements for Workers

(i) Where and in what form pesticides may be encountered during work activities.

(ii) Hazards of pesticides resulting from toxicity and exposure, including acute and chronic effects, delayed effects, and sensitization.

(iii) Routes through which pesticides can enter the body.

(iv) Signs and symptoms of common types of pesticide poisoning.

(v) Emergency first aid for pesticide injuries or poisonings.

(vi) How to obtain emergency medical care.

(vii) Routine and emergency decontamination procedures, including emergency eye flushing techniques.

(viii) Hazards from chemigation and drift.

(ix) Hazards from pesticide residues on clothing.

(x) Warnings about taking pesticides or pesticide containers home.

(xi) Requirements of this subpart designed to reduce the risks of illness or injury resulting from workers’ occupational exposure to pesticides, including application and entry restrictions, the design of the warning sign, posting of warning signs, oral warnings, the availability of specific information about applications, and the protection against retaliatory acts.

EPA will provide Training materials that will cover the following:

(i) The responsibility of agricultural employers to provide workers and handlers with information and protections designed to reduce work-related pesticide exposures and illnesses. This includes ensuring workers and handlers have been trained on pesticide safety, providing pesticide safety and application and hazard information, decontamination supplies and emergency medical assistance, and notifying workers of restrictions during applications and on entering pesticide treated areas. A worker or handler may designate in writing a representative to request access to pesticide  application and hazard information.

(ii) How to recognize and understand the meaning of the posted warning signs used for notifying workers of restrictions on entering pesticide treated areas on the establishment.

(iii) How to follow directions and/or signs about keeping out of pesticide treated areas subject to a restricted-entry interval and application exclusion zones.

(iv) Where and in what forms pesticides may be encountered during work activities, and potential sources of pesticide exposure on the agricultural establishment. This includes exposure to pesticide residues that may be on or in plants, soil, tractors, application and chemigation equipment, or used personal protective equipment, and that pesticides may drift through the air from nearby applications or be in irrigation water.

(v) Potential hazards from toxicity and exposure that pesticides present to workers and their families, including acute and chronic effects, delayed effects, and sensitization.

(vi) Routes through which pesticides can enter the body.

(vii) Signs and symptoms of common types of pesticide poisoning.

(viii) Emergency first aid for pesticide injuries or poisonings.

(ix) Routine and emergency decontamination procedures, including emergency eye flushing techniques, and if pesticides are spilled or sprayed on the body to use decontamination supplies to wash immediately or rinse off in the nearest clean water, including springs, streams, lakes or other sources if more readily available than decontamination supplies, and as soon as possible, wash or shower with soap and water, shampoo hair, and change into clean clothes.

(x) How and when to obtain emergency medical care.

(xi) When working in pesticide treated areas, wear work clothing that protects the body from pesticide residues and wash hands before eating, drinking, using chewing gum or tobacco, or using the toilet.

(xii) Wash or shower with soap and water, shampoo hair, and change into clean clothes as soon as possible after working in pesticide treated areas.

(xiii) Potential hazards from pesticide residues on clothing.

(xiv) Wash work clothes before wearing them again and wash them separately from other clothes.

(xv) Do not take pesticides or pesticide containers used at work to your home.

(xvi) Safety data sheets provide hazard, emergency medical treatment and other information about the pesticides used on the establishment they may come in contact with. The responsibility of agricultural employers to do all of the following:

(A) Display safety data sheets for all pesticides used on the establishment.

(B) Provide workers and handlers information about the location of the safety data sheets on the establishment.

(C) Provide workers and handlers unimpeded access to safety data sheets during normal work hours.

(xvii) The rule prohibits agricultural employers from allowing or directing any worker to mix, load or apply pesticides or assist in the application of pesticides unless the worker has been trained as a handler.

(xviii) The responsibility of agricultural employers to provide specific information to workers before directing them to perform early-entry activities. Workers must be 18 years old to perform early-entry activities.

(xix) Potential hazards to children and pregnant women from pesticide exposure.

(xx) Keep children and nonworking family members away from pesticide treated areas.

(xxi) After working in pesticide treated areas, remove work boots or shoes before entering your home, and remove work clothes and wash or shower before physical contact with children or family members.

(xxii) How to report suspected pesticide use violations to the State or Tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement.

(xxiii) The rule prohibits agricultural employers from intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discriminating against any worker or handler for complying with or attempting to comply with the requirements of this rule, or because the worker or handler provided, caused to be provided or is about to provide information to the employer or the EPA or its agents regarding conduct that the employee reasonably believes violates this part, and/or made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing concerning compliance with this rule.

170.501 Training requirements for Handlers

 170.501(c)(2) Minimum training topic requirements

(i) Format and meaning of information contained on pesticide labels and in labeling, including safety information such as precautionary statements about human health hazards.

(ii) Hazards of pesticides resulting from toxicity and exposure, including acute and chronic effects, delayed effects, and sensitization.

(iii) Routes by which pesticides can enter the body.

(iv) Signs and symptoms of common types of pesticide poisoning.

(v) Emergency first aid for pesticide injuries or poisonings.

(vi) How to obtain emergency medical care.

(vii) Routine and emergency decontamination procedures.

(viii) Need for and appropriate use of personal protective equipment.

(ix) Prevention, recognition, and first aid treatment of heat-related illness.

(x) Safety requirements for handling, transporting, storing, and disposing of pesticides, including general procedures for spill cleanup.

(xi) Environmental concerns such as drift, runoff, and wildlife hazards.

(xii) Warnings about taking pesticides or pesticide containers home.

(xiii) Requirements of this subpart that must be followed by handler employers for the protection of handlers and other persons, including the prohibition against applying pesticides in a manner that will cause contact with workers or other persons, the requirement to use personal protective equipment, the provisions for training and decontamination, and the protection against retaliatory acts.

EPA will provide Training materials that will cover the following:

(i) All the topics required by §170.401(c)(3). (same topics required for worker training), plus,

(ii) Information on proper application and use of pesticides.

(iii) Handlers must follow the portions of the labeling applicable to the safe use of the pesticide.

(iv) Format and meaning of information contained on pesticide labels and in labeling applicable to the safe use of the pesticide.

(v) Need for and appropriate use and removal of all personal protective equipment.

(vi) How to recognize, prevent, and provide first aid treatment for heat-related illness.

(vii) Safety requirements for handling, transporting, storing, and disposing of pesticides, including general procedures for spill cleanup.

(viii) Environmental concerns, such as drift, runoff, and wildlife hazards.

(ix) Handlers must not apply pesticides in a manner that results in contact with workers or other persons.

(x) The responsibility of handler employers to provide handlers with information and protections designed to reduce work-related pesticide exposures and illnesses. This includes providing, cleaning, maintaining, storing, and ensuring proper use of all required personal protective equipment; providing decontamination supplies; and providing specific information about pesticide use and labeling information.

(xi) Handlers must suspend a pesticide application if workers or other persons are in the application exclusion zone.

(xii) Handlers must be at least 18 years old.

(xiii) The responsibility of handler employers to ensure handlers have received respirator fit-testing, training and medical evaluation if they are required to wear a respirator by the product labeling.

(xiv) The responsibility of agricultural employers to post treated areas as required by this rule.

​Label restrictions have been updated for three dicamba products that are registered until December 20, 2025. The products are:​

  • Engenia Herbicide®, made by BASF
  • Xtendimax®, made by Bayer CropScience​
  • Tavium® Plus, made by Syngenta

These herbicides are intended for post-emergent use on soybeans that have been genetically modified to resist damage from the chemical. The registration for these products is set to expire in 2025, barring changes from the EPA. Because of numerous drift problems, crop damage and complaints, the EPA has implemented extensive requirements to try and lessen the problems, while still allowing their use.

Following are just SOME of the requirements you need to know about, and use, before applying these products. Please read the label thoroughly for all regulations. Remember, the label is the law.

All the products above are registered as Restricted-Use Pesticides (RUPs). This means you must be a Certified Pesticide Applicator to both buy AND apply (this includes mixing and loading) these products.


To use the three dicamba products listed above an applicator must be certified and go through an additional product training. This additional training is dictated by the pesticide labels. And we all know from our training that “the label is the law.”  Wisconsin will accept training provided by the three companies that make the products, or approved training provided by other states. You need to have a proof that you got training to apply these products. You can find the three manufacturer training by using the following links.

Bulletins Live and Buffer Zones

The EPA has a bulletin system to help protect endan­gered species from exposure to certain pesticides. Some pesticide labels will direct you to the EPA’s Bul­letins Live Two (BLT) website to find specific use restrictions (based on county) for the product to protect en­dangered and threatened species. All three of the over-the-top dicamba products will direct you to check the BLT website. In certain counties the bulletin will require you to have both a 310-foot in-field wind-directional spray drift buffer and a 57-foot infield buffer on other field edges.

You can find more information on Bulletins Live and buffer zones at the following links.
EPA Bulletins Live Two website
DATCP dicamba brochure.

Other Resources

Example of a recordkeeping form – This example is for Engenia™, BASF.

Example of a recordkeeping form – This example is for XtendiMax™, Bayer Crop Scienceses

List of Apps that might be of use – CropLife: “Mobile Apps, Online Tools for Dicamba Applications.”

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