Professional Applicator Training Course
(Liquid Systems with a focus on post/foliar applications)
Robert E. Wolf, Ph.D., Instructor
Wolf Consulting & Research
Application technology is rapidly changing how crop protection products must be applied to maximize efficacy while minimizing spray drift. Proper education and training is needed to assist pesticide applicators in the safe and efficient use of current pest control equipment. Currently there is a void in the amount of professional applicator training being offered for commercial ground-based applicators. This document will describe a newly designed one-of-a-kind professional training course for this group of pesticide applicators and the management staff who supervise them.
PAT Course Trailer and Equipment
Pre-registration: $220.00 / person.
Walk-ins: $295.00 / person.
Wolf Consulting & Research will manage a centralized database to track all participants in the training so that certification/recertification credits can be awarded. Credits for both CCA and the Department of Agriculture, or the governing body responsible, will be requested in the states where training occurs in accordance with state requirements.
This course is interactive and hands-on in nature and best suited for a combination of indoor and outdoor settings such as at commercial agricultural retail outlets, fairgrounds, or similar settings where equipment can be operated. This course is not designed to displace any current training efforts. It may be offered as a stand-alone course in states where it is desired, or to supplement existing efforts where fresh equipment or an added measure of hands-on experiences may be beneficial. Below is a brief outline of the content for the course.
  1. Introduction and Professionalism
  2. Application Systems and Equipment
  3. Spray System Components
    1. Tanks
    2. Pumps
    3. Plumbing, Agitation, and Distribution
    4. Valves & Flow Control
    5. Electronics & Rate Controllers
    6. Nozzles
      1. Importance of the Nozzle
      2. Using Nozzle Manufacturer Literature/Web Site
      3. Nozzle Characteristics (materials, orifice size, patterns, overlap, etc.)
      4. Nozzle Types (spray table demo)
  4. Calibration of Liquid Spray Systems
    1. Variables (PSI, MPH, GPA, GPM, nozzle spacing)
    2. Selecting Nozzle Orifice Size (scenarios with work sheets and calculations)
    3. Calibration Checks for Accuracy
    4. Adjusting for Different Carriers (fertilizers, etc.) in the tank (calculations)
  5. Nozzle Type Selection Scenarios Based on GPA, Cropping Systems, Pesticide (herbicide, fungicide, insecticide, other), Mode of Action, other
  6. Understanding Atomization/Spray Droplet Size for Maximum Coverage and Minimized Drift
  7. Comparing Nozzle Types for Drift (spray table demo)
  8. Collecting and Comparing Spray Droplets (outside sprayer with water sensitive paper, scanning)
  9. Measuring Spray Drift and Analysis - DropletScan (outside sprayer with water sensitive paper)
  10. Calibrating for Droplet Size by Using Label Recommendations
  11. Demonstrating the Influence of Adjuvants on Spray Pattern and Droplet Spectra (spray table demo)
  12. Spray Drift Management Strategies / Drift Reduction Technologies
  13. Application Technology (air assist, pulse width, boom swath control, variable rate, etc.)
  14. Summary & Post-test
To supplement the course, a Master Applicator handbook has been compiled containing all the information that has been identified as being a relevant and valuable resource. The recommendation will be to take the course on a 3-year cycle. An applicator that pays and attends every three years will receive a current version of this handbook as part of their registration. This handbook will contain the following materials:
PAT Training Kit
One goal for attendees is to receive proper certification from their state upon completion of the course. We will track each attendee in order to provide information about the applicator's training history back to their management for certification and recertification purposes. In addition to providing the training, Wolf Consulting and Research will manage the applicator database for this purpose. We will monitor the requirements within your state's applicator certification program to properly apply for the CEU and REC credits. With proper instruction, we will submit the documentation required by each state to gain approval for the requested credits. Please direct us to online documentation within your state for us to determine what is required for applicators to become certified and remain certified within your state. We will also do this with each state's CCA program manager so that attendees can be awarded proper credits for that program as well.