Farming is a highly regulated industry

Published 5:31 pm Monday, January 6, 2020

Once upon a time the farmer planted his crop, side-dressed with guano or chemical fertilizer, plowed up weeds, pulled off insects by hand, and prayed for a good yield.

Times have changed.

Andrea W. Gibbs, Hyde/Tyrrell County Agricultural Agent, announced this week that pest management meetings will be held Jan. 14 in Plymouth, Jan. 16 in Bath, and Feb. 4 in Fairfield. Meeting times are 10 a.m. to 12 noon (lunch provided). Two hours of X, N, D, O pesticide credits will be available. V training will be available before or after the road show meeting.

Agronomic meetings will be held Jan. 17 in Ponzer (10-12, lunch provided), Jan. 29 in Pinetown 8-10, breakfast provided), and Feb. 5 in Columbia (10-12, lunch provided). No pesticide credits available.

The Blackland cotton meeting will be Feb. 12 in the Ponzer Community Building (8-10, breakfast provided), 2 hours of X, N, D, O credits. Auxin training will follow from 10-11 a.m.

Everyone planning to apply dicamba to Xtend cotton or

soybeans or 2,4-D to Enlist cotton or soybeans MUST complete the annual mandatory training prior to use in 2020, Gibbs stated.

All applicators of these products must be certified or licensed commercial applicators.

There will be two opportunities to attend the auxin training in our area:

– Jan. 14, Vernon James Center, Plymouth, starting at 9 a.m. The Pest Management Road Show meeting will start at 10 am.

– Feb. 12, Ponzer Community Building, 39111 US 264, Belhaven, starting at 10 a.m., after the Blackland Cotton Meeting.

Any person who intends to use paraquat must be a certified private applicator (or licensed in an appropriate category), and is required to successfully complete the training.

“Use” includes mixing and loading the pesticide; applying the pesticide; and other pesticide-related

activities, such as transporting or storing opened pesticide containers, cleaning equipment, and

disposing of excess pesticides, pesticide containers, and other paraquat-containing materials.

Paraquat training is available online at

This training is only required for paraquat-containing pesticides with the new label. If you have product with the old label, you are not required the complete the training until you obtain product with the new label.

The Hyde County Health Department will offer respirator fit testing on Mondays and Wednesdays in February and March. Please call the health department at 252-926-4399 to make an appointment.

The NC Agromedicine Institute will offer respirator fit testing at the Washington County Extension

Center in Plymouth) on February 21. Please call Christie at 252-793-2163 to make an appointment! They will also have a fit test event at the Beaufort County Extension center February 26. Please call Sam at 252-946-0111 to make an appointment.

The Blackland Farm Managers Association annual meeting and ag economic update will be held January 28 from 8:30 to 12 noon (lunch provided) in the Vernon James Center, 207 Research Station Drive, Plymouth. Speakers will be  Dr. Joe Outlaw, professor & Extension economist at Texas A&M University, and Dr. Blake Brown, NCSU Professor of Ag and Resource Economics.

Gibbs can be reached at 252-542-9300 or