How to digitize a pesticide´s application time? (part 1: USA)

In recent years, efforts have been made to digitize pesticide´s labels. In January 2008 the U.S. agency EPA published the Specifications for Text PDF Product Labels whose core rule is «the label must be a text .PDF (not an image .PDF)».

Since then, EPA has been making progress with the project ‘smartlabels’ which later became OPPEL ( Office of Pesticide Program Electronic Label)

Some companies like Bayer, Syngenta or Dow have joined OPPEL project. EPA has created a spreadsheet document that intends to help manufacturers to submit electronic labels. One of the sections is dedicated to the time of application (a.k.a. App. Timing ‘Site Status’)

At the time of publication of this post, EPA has described 58 entries within the App Timing vocabulary section. I just copied that table and pasted here.

All crop/site stages possible (e.g., timing determined solely by pest pressure)No restriction to timing in relation to use site status or crop stage. Must select from Timing of Pest data element. If pest only occurs during certain crop stages, individually select those from above list.
BudwoodStage when a portion of a stem or branch with a vegetative bud(s) is used in propagation for budding or grafting.
Pre-plantBefore the crop is planted or seeded
Before transplantTime before crop is transplanted to the field
At plant or seedingWhen the crop is planted or seeded
At transplantTime when crop is transplanted to the field
After transplantTime after crop is transplanted into the field
Post plantingAny time after planting before harvest
Pre-emergenceBetween planting and when the crop emerges
At crop emergenceWhen crop leaves first emerge from the soil
Post-emergenceWhen the crop is above the soil anytime between emergence and harvest
BootingPost-emergenceWheat (Flag leaf sheath extending to Boot swollen (Feekes Scale 9-10))
Dough DevelopmentPost-emergenceWheat (Early dough to Hard dough (Feekes Scale 11.2))
Head (Inflorescence) EmergencePost-emergenceWheat (First spikelet of head visible to Head completely emerged (Feekes Scale 10.1 – 10.5))
Milk DevelopmentPost-emergenceWheat (Kernel (caryopsis) watery ripe to Late milk (Feekes Scale 10.54 -11.1))
Pollination (Anthesis)Post-emergenceWheat (Beginning of flowering to Flowering completed (Feekes Scale 10.51 – 10.53))
R1Post-emergenceCorn (Silking)
R2Post-emergenceCorn (Blister)
R3Post-emergenceCorn (Milk)
R4Post-emergenceCorn (Dough)
R5Post-emergenceCorn (Dent)
R6Post-emergenceCorn (Physiological Maturity)
RipeningPost-emergenceWheat (Kernel hard (hard to split by thumbnail) to Kernel hard (cannot split by thumbnail) (Feekes Scale 11.3 – 11.4))
Seedling GrowthPost-emergenceWheat (First leaf through coleoptile to 9 or more leaves unfolded (Feekes Scale 1))
Stem ElongationPost-emergenceWheat (Pseudostem erection to Flag leaf ligule and collar visible (Feekes Scale 4-9))
TilleringPost-emergenceWheat (Main shoot only to Main shoot and 9 tillers (Feekes Scale 2-3))
V1Post-emergenceCorn (First Leaf / Plant Height (3 in))
V10Post-emergenceCorn (Plant Height (47 in))
V12Post-emergenceCorn (Plant Height (53 in))
V14Post-emergenceCorn (Plant Height (73 in))
V16Post-emergenceCorn (Plant Height (87 in))
V18Post-emergenceCorn (Plant Height (100 in))
V2Post-emergenceCorn (Second Leaf / Plant Height (4 in))
V20Post-emergenceCorn (Twentieth leaf / Plant Height (105 in))
V3Post-emergenceCorn (third Leaf / Plant Height (7 in))
V4Post-emergenceCorn (Fourth Leaf / Plant Height (10 in))
V6Post-emergenceCorn (Sixth Leaf / Plant Height (19 in))
V8Post-emergenceCorn (Eighth Leaf/Plant Height (31 in))
VEPost-emergenceCorn (Emergence)
VnPost-emergenceCorn (nth Leaf)
VTPost-emergenceCorn (Tasseling)
After mowingAfter cutting forage or grass crops
Immediately prior to harvestApplications made just before harvest (including harvest aids)
Post-harvestApplied after harvest, includes application during storage
DormantSeason where crop has no growth in the winter or when any fruit/nuts are not produced for food.
Delayed dormantBegins as buds begin to swell, and continues until the beginning of the green tip bud development stage.
Before bud breakStage in crop before the opening of a dormant bud, when the shoot begins to grow
Before bloomStage from bud break until the crop begins to flower
During bloomApplied at flowering stage
Post bloomApplied after flowering and before maturity
Post Petal FallWhen flower petals are mature and fall at fruit set.
Bud break to fruit/nut setStage after the opening of a dormant bud, when the shoot begins to grow and continues until the fruit/nut crop sets fruit
Pre floodPeriod prior to when crop is flooded.
Post floodPeriod after crop is flooded.
FallowApplied to land that won’t be planted with a crop intended for harvest or grazing for at least a growing season
During ManufacturePesticide treatment of material during its production or manufacture.
Post-constructionPesticide treatment of the materials used in construction or of the area where construction has occurred.
Pre-constructionPesticide treatment of the materials used in construction or of the area in which construction will occur
Source: OPPEL project by EPA

From my point of view EPA´s approach for dealing with time of application is practical and easy to understand. However, for the time being it is focused in two crops: wheat and corn.

For instance, it does not cover yet times of applications important in vineyards like ‘fruit coloring’.

In Europe the situation is different and more complex. Regulators are more specific with the time of application and that´s why BBCH scale is gaining popularity among governments.

In a next post we will be talking about EU´s time of application scope.

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Límite Máximo de Residuos (LMR)

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