Growing or thinking of growing hops, tree nuts, specialty berries or fruit or any other crop that may require an airblast sprayer to apply pesticides, foliar nutrients or other products? If so, you should take a look at Airblast 101, a new online course developed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food in association with Crop Life Canada.
While grower pesticide safety certification programs focus on the safe handling, storage and use of pesticides, they do not provide crop protection recommendations. Airblast 101 is a four hour classroom-based course designed to provide participants with practical tools to allow them to apply pesticides, plant growth modifiers and foliar nutrients in an effective, economic and environmentally responsible manner. This course was created to introduce a new operator to spraying, or to refresh a seasoned veteran.
At the core of the course is the Participant’s Handbook. It is designed to provide a solid grounding in the basics of airblast sprayer operation, as well as introduce advanced techniques. This website hosts all the content in the Participant’s Handbook, plus the course PowerPoint presentation. Further, it houses a library of additional resources for the advanced reader, including current factsheets, presentations, videos and articles submitted by researchers and university/government extension specialists from across North America.
Hops growers will be interested to note the site features two videos on a prototype hops sprayer developed by OMAF and MRA staff last summer, featured in the video library. Airblast 101 can be found at http://www.sprayers101.com or http://www.sprayers101.ca, or by clicking the logo at the beginning of this post.