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  • Semi-monthly Finger Lakes Vineyard Notes
  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • Discounted Conference Registration Fees

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Grape - Winter Content


Changes to Agricultural Worker Protection Standard

January 9, 2017

In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency made revisions to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard. Most of these changes to the law went into effect on January 2, 2017.  The remaining changes will be put into effect on January 2, 2018. 

These rules affect farms that use pesticides and are employers. 

Revisions to the standard include:

•Annual mandatory training to inform farmworkers on the required protections afforded to them.  Currently, training is only once every 5 years.

•Expanded training includes instructions to reduce take-home exposure from pesticides on work clothing and other safety topics.

• First-time ever minimum age requirement: Children under 18 are prohibited from handling pesticides.

• Expanded mandatory posting of no-entry signs for the most hazardous pesticides. The signs prohibit entry into pesticide-treated fields until residues decline to a safe level.

• New no-entry application-exclusion zones up to 100 feet surrounding pesticide application equipment will protect workers and others from exposure to pesticide overspray.

• Requirement to provide more than one way for farmworkers and their representatives to gain access to pesticide application information and safety data sheets - centrally-posted, or by requesting records.

• Mandatory record-keeping to improve states' ability to follow up on pesticide violations and enforce compliance. Records of application-specific pesticide information, as well as farmworker training, must be kept for two years.

• Anti-retaliation provisions are comparable to Department of Labor's (DOL).

• Changes in personal protective equipment will be consistent with DOL's standards for ensuring respirators are effective, including fit test, medical evaluation and training.

• Specific amounts of water to be used for routine washing, emergency eye flushing and other decontamination, including eye wash systems for handlers at pesticide mixing/loading sites.

• Continue the exemption for farm owners and their immediate families with an expanded definition of immediate family.

This content and more can be found at

Ontario County Cornell Cooperative Extension will be hosting a program on January 23, 2017 from 1:00-2:30 at their office in Canandaigua to go over the changes. Chris Wainwright, NYDEC Region 8 Pesticide Control Specialist, will be providing the updates. The cost of the program is $15 and registration is required. For more information visit

As always, feel free to call the Finger Lakes Grape Program office at (315) 536-5134 or contact us through email (Gillian-, Hans- if you have questions about the new regulations.

Additional Information:

EPA Worker Protection Standard Frequently Asked Questions:

Training materials in English and Spanish that meet the new WPS requirements, as well as additional information:

EPA Standards Comparison Chart:
In English:

En Espaņol:

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Upcoming Events

B.E.V. NY 2019

Event Offers DEC Credits

February 27 - March 1, 2019
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Henrietta, NY

B.E.V. NY 2019 is almost here! Register now at!

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Register for B.E.V. NY 2019

It's time to register for B.E.V. NY! Don't miss out on the premier educational event of the year for grape growers, winemakers and sales and marketing staff at the RIT Inn and Conference Center on Wednesday, February 27 - Friday, March 1, 2019.

Check out the program for Wednesday, February 27 (Business), Thursday, February 28 (Enology) and Friday, March 1 (Viticulture), as well as information about registration, the trade show and hotel reservations at