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RALEIGH – Anyone planning to work with auxin herbicides, such as 2,4-D or dicamba, in North Carolina in 2020 will need to attend annual training, the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services said. This marks the fourth year the state has required auxin users to complete training prior to applying the products. Additionally, paraquat users must receive training and be certified or licensed applicators.

There will be a session March 4 at 11 a.m. at the Bladen County Extension Center at 450 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown for people in Bladen, Columbus and Cumberland counties.

Another session is scheduled March 4 at 4 p.m. at the Southeastern Agricultural Center in Lumberton for people in Robeson, Hoke and Scotland counties.

For more information on paraquat or auxin training, contact the NCDA&CS at 919-733-3556 or the Bladen County Extension Service office at 910-862-4591.

“The goal of the training is to help applicators understand how to safely apply the herbicides without damaging other crops,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Past training has paid off as there has been limited damage in previous years.”

Although there are no label changes for 2020, anyone planning to apply dicamba products such as Xtendimax, Fexapan, Tavium or Engenia must complete the training for the 2020 growing season. Anyone applying 2,4-D products such as Enlist Duo or Enlist One must also complete the training.

In addition to teaching applicators how to reduce incidents of herbicide drift to susceptible crops, the training covers how to comply with label requirements and maintain the required record keeping.

The Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division of NCDA&CS, in conjunction with N.C. State University, has scheduled 31 trainings across the state from Jan. 14 through March 26.

More information and resources about auxin herbicide training are online at www.ncagr.gov/spcap/pesticides/auxin.htm. Upon completion, applicators and dealers will receive 1 hour of pesticide recertification credit in categories N, O, D and X.

Required paraquat training

New labeling of products containing paraquat-dichloride, often simply referred to as paraquat, requires anyone who intends to use the herbicide to be a certified private applicator or be licensed in an appropriate category. Anyone who plans to use the newly labeled paraquat products must successfully complete training once every three years. The requirement applies not only to applicators, but also to anyone who handles the newly labeled paraquat in any way, including mixing, loading, applying, transporting, disposing of or cleaning containers of the herbicide. Noncertified persons working under the supervision of a certified applicator are prohibited from handling paraquat in any way.

Paraquat trade names include but may not be limited to the following: Gramoxone, Para-SHOT, Parazone, Quick-Quat, Firestorm or Helmquat.

The training is currently only available online at www.usparaquattraining.com. A newer version will be available in January, but anyone who completed the previous version is still valid for meeting the requirement.