Chemical Info for Newcomers to Business

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GroundKprs, Jan 26, 2000.

  1. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    For newcomers to the green industry, here are a couple of important matters that should be noted about chemical use by landscape contractors:<p>1-LICENSING & LEGALITIES<p>States license companies and individuals for application of pesticides for hire. Anything used to control a pest is subject to licensing. PEST(relating to the landscape) = any undesireable plant, insect, disease, animal, or other condition. PESTICIDE = any chemical (natural or synthetic) used to control a pest. Most states have two categories of licensing affecting landscape: one for turf and another for ornamentals. If you only have a turf license, you cannot spray Roundup in the shrub beds. In Indiana, an unlicensed applicator can be fined $$$ for each INCIDENT. So if an inspector follows you around to 10 properties, you pay 10 x $$$. If he's in a bad mood that day, or you put him in a bad mood, he can probably find 3 regs violated at each site, so you pay 3 x 10 x $$$.<p>While many pesticides are available in the local hardware, Home Depot, or K-Mart, these are for consumer use. You are generally violating state and federal regulations if you buy Weed-B-Gon at K-Mart and apply to a customer's lawn, even if you are licensed. (OSHA and many state chemical applicator regs require you to have label and MSDS {Material Safety Data Sheet} available for any chemicals you are using. Most consumer chemicals are low rate formulations and escape the requirement that the mfr supplies an MSDS. So if you use the consumer product you cannot comply with the MSDS regs.)<p>To find info about pesticide licensing in your state, contact your state lawn care assn or the turf or horticulture dept at your state land grant university. Many of these land grant univs have terrific web sites to help you with landscape problems. Two years ago I diagnosed a problem I had not seen before in my mother's lawn in Denver, 1100 miles away. I had her on the phone while I was connected to the Colo St Univ site. There is a whole lot more on the web today.<p>2-CHEMICAL NAMES<p>You need to learn to observe the A.I.(active ingredient) and the CONCENTRATION of A.I. in chemicals available to you. Differentiate between COMMON name and TRADE name!! In a recent thread on weed control in beds, the trade names Preen and Treflan were used. If you read the label the A.I. in each of these is trifluralin.<p>chemical name: a,a,a-trifluoro-2,6-dinitro-N,N-dipropyl-p-toluidine<br>common name: trifluralin<br>trade names: Treflan (professional product), Preen (consumer)<p>The % A.I. in Treflan is 5%; the % A.I. in Preen is 1.47%. (Consumer products are often just 10% to 30% of the concentration of commercial products, to reduce the chance of overapplication.) So in this case you would have to use 34# of Preen to equal the potency of 10# of Treflan. This will help you to calculate which is the cheaper product for you to use, and almost invariably it will be the professional product.<p>Be aware that trade names may change their A.I. Snapshot started out as a dry flowable combo of oryzalin (Surflan) and isoxaben (Gallery). It is now a granular formulation of trifluralin and isoxaben. In consumer products, there are more frequent changes.<p>--A weed is any plant growing in a place it is not wanted:<br> A dandelion is not a weed in the garden when grown for salad greens, but it is commonly considered a weed in the front lawn.<br> An oak tree would probably be a weed in the middle of an corn field, unless the farmer wants some shade to relax under.--<p>----------<br>Jim<br>South Bend, IN<br>
  2. curlawngreen

    curlawngreen Banned
    Messages: 309

    Thank you. I would like to see who cares.<br>Do you just spray roundup at 4% so you dont have to reapply or do you have the license?
  3. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    I start my pesticides course next week, $150 upfront, then extra for the exam. I will maybe do a 1/2 doz lawns next year, no wonder most guys here aren't licensed. I know guys who do 10 times as many lawns as me who aren't licensed and don't have a clue what they are mixing or how much they are putting on. Anyone can walk into TSC and buy as much round up as they want as long as it is in 1 litre jugs, Killex(24D) is in 10 litre jugs. Here the only people who have to be licensed are the ones who are getting paid to put it on, if you do it for free then no license needed.
  4. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Hey! All I want to do is spray grass growing through the cracks in the sidewalks and put a little ant killer out and I have to get a license! <p>Homer
  5. bdemir

    bdemir LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 610

    Oh really So should everybody go and get a license so you wont cry to your mommy because you arent making enough to fill your chemlawn pockets. Sorry but chemicals hurt the earth no matter what. If you have a license or not and that is what we should be all about. It seems like to me that people like you are not worried about the education aspect of it. I think that you are just worried that you yourself wont make all the money. Besides how many licensed chem guys do you think really care about the environment. I mean think about it they go out spray chemical follow the rules and try to get done as many as they can to make as much money as they can. And that is the bottom line my friend. Do you think they are thinking of their license. Whatever! I will get a license but i think you should go and work for OSHA. People who pose as the law but just make rules only to benefit THEMSELVES.<p>HAVE A NICE DAY !
  6. tim

    tim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Can anyone tell me how difficult the commercial applicator exams are? In my state we take a 70 question core exam and then a 30 question turf/ornamental exam. I know there are classes etc. to prepare but I have the study materials from the extension service. Should I consider a class? Frankly, having read the books I can,t imagine failing the test. Am I being too confident or has this been others experience?
  7. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    The purpose of the original posting is not to criticize anybody working in the business who does not have a license. If you are doing it your way, you have made the choice.<p>My only reason for posting is having noticed a good number of sincere individuals who indicate that they are just starting in business. With the comments in the forum about chemical use, they may not be aware of the requirements.<p>The licensing authority in Indiana, Office of the Ind State Chemist, is no bogeyman or big business protector. I have seen them give extra effort to help new individuals get the training and licensing.<p>----------<br>Jim<br>South Bend, IN
  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Tim, I found that taking the training class was beneficial, both for the core and catrgory exams, but we have a really tough program in IN.<p>Suggest you find a list of licensees in your area (perhaps the extension service can help on that). Then pick a small operator and ask him about his exams. In IN there was a good amount of math on the test, so you had to be well prepared on that.<p>----------<br>Jim<br>South Bend, IN
  9. tim

    tim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    GroundKpers, I realize you are trying to help and thank you. I am taking the exams in a few weeks. I think it is important.
  10. As a licensed certified commercial pesticide<br>applicator for turf, trees, and shrubs for the last seven years I offer the following opinion:<p>If you do not have a pesticide license you<br>will not be able to provide quality lawncare.<p>If your serious about making a living in the<br>green industry you need a license.<p>Mixing chemicals is not rocket science but<br>you do need to know enough to pass a state-mandated tests and have proof of the proper<br>insurance before you can apply.<p>The state is not making a very high entry barrier. It's not like taking the BAR exam.<p>The core and lawn tests are fairly easy.<br>The tree test requires a bit of study since<br>They’re a so many types of trees and the bugs<br>that love them.<p>Now for the shocking truth. You will NEVER<br>get any decent high end jobs because you<br>just don't meet the fundamental requirements of a lawn care contractor.<br>

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