University of Maryland Extension

Pesticide Applicator Training

Impact Document

For over 25 years, the University of Maryland Extension has conducted Pesticide Private Applicator Education. In this time, educators have worked to bring University information and research to farmers and landowners in Maryland as well as to assist them in complying with State of Maryland regulations through workshops, recertification classes and publications.  Goals of the Pesticide Private Applicator education program include increasing farm productivity, applying safety measures, decreasing environmental impacts and meeting regulatory requirements. 

A survey was conducted in the fall of 2011 to determine the results and impacts of the training.  It was a written survey sent to a randomly selected sample size of licensed applicators. The purpose of this study was to investigate impacts of University of Maryland Extension (UME) Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) in the areas of regulatory compliance, increased pesticide safety, increased environmental safety and increased farm profits.  The response rate to the survey was 42%. 

Survey participants answered questions regarding education they have received through UME PSEP. The average respondent farms 421.09 acres and has increased farm profit by $2,505.49 (421.09 ac x $5.95). Total dollar impact of surveyed participants translates to $518,631.80 (87,165 ac x $5.95).

Pesticide Average Profit Per Acre

Low

Medium

High

AVERAGE

 $       4.77

 $       5.95

 $       7.13

MEDIAN

 $       3.01

 $       4.00

 $       5.00

SD

3.6299

3.9500

4.2838

 

In addition to the financial impact, a substantial result of this long-term survey includes applicators’ response to implementing pesticide safety precautions. Continued Private Applicator training is mandatory for those with certification, and a high rate of regulatory compliance (75%) as a result of the training would be expected. However, 75% of respondents also reported positive impacts on safety precautions for themselves, their farm and the environment.

This shows PSEP-trained farmers understand the benefits of implementing pesticide safety practices on the farm and demonstrates the need for continued education on pesticide safety measures.

As a result of locally-delivered pesticide education programs, UME has increased farm profitability and reduced pesticide exposure to farmers and their families, the environment, and, ultimately, the general public.

We offer a special thank you to Maryland Pesticide Applicator respondents and to our pesticide safety education team that has delivered timely and relevant information to agricultural producers for the past 25 years.

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