Ensuring Safe Agriculture: The Important Role of Product Stewardship  

In the dynamic landscape of modern agriculture, the responsible use of chemicals has become paramount to ensure not only robust crop yields but also the well-being of ecosystems, farmers, and consumers. This is where the concept of product stewardship takes center stage. In the context of the agriculture industry, product stewardship encompasses a comprehensive set of practices that span from the moment a chemical is manufactured to its eventual application and entry into the environment. Let’s delve deeper into the various aspects of product stewardship and how they specifically apply to TELONE™ preplant soil fumigant.

Understanding Product Stewardship

Product stewardship encompasses the comprehensive and ethical management of a product’s lifecycle – from its inception, manufacturing, distribution, usage, and eventual disposal. For ag-chem companies, like Teleos Ag Solutions, product stewardship is about embracing a holistic approach that goes beyond regulatory compliance to prioritize safety, sustainability, and customer well-being as well as successful cropping systems. This means that Teleos Ag Solutions offers tools, training, and tips for customers to be excellent product stewards and use TELONE™ in a way that is safe, while targeting destructive pests.

Teleos Ag Solutions’ Commitment to Product Stewardship

TELONE™ has been a grower’s best defense against nematodes for more than 60 years. Growers rely on TELONE™ to deliver nematode control, and help improve crop yield and quality. At the same time, growers want to know that they are using TELONE™ in a way that keeps workers safe and is used in accordance to the label specifications to prevent potential harm to humans, the environment, and non-target organisms. Teleos Ag Solutions recognizes its role in fostering sustainable agriculture and has taken several steps to uphold stewardship throughout the product lifecycle, including:

Research and Development: Teleos Ag Solutions invests in ongoing research to enhance the effectiveness and safety of TELONE™. This includes studying TELONE™’s behavior in different soil types, weather conditions, and crop varieties. By understanding these dynamics, the company can provide precise usage guidelines to growers, in accordance to the label.

Educational Initiatives: To ensure safe and responsible TELONE™ usage, education plays a pivotal role. Teleos Ag Solutions actively engages with growers, agricultural extension services, and distributors through stewardship trainings, workshops, and online resources. These platforms disseminate information on application techniques, dosage recommendations, protective measures, and environmental considerations.

Innovative Application Technologies: Teleos Ag Solutions collaborates with growers and technology partners to develop innovative application methods that reduce TELONE™’s environmental impact. Precision application techniques minimize the amount of fumigant used, limiting its exposure to non-target areas and reducing potential risks, while saving money only using the product where it’s most effective.

Monitoring and Reporting: Product stewardship requires continuous monitoring of the product’s impact. Teleos Ag Solutions employs a robust monitoring and reporting system to track the usage of TELONE™ in the field. This data-driven approach helps identify any deviations from safe usage practices and enables timely corrective measures.

Collaboration with Regulatory Authorities: Adhering to regulations and standards is fundamental to product stewardship. Teleos Ag Solutions maintains a proactive relationship with regulatory authorities to ensure that its products comply with all relevant guidelines. This collaboration ensures that TELONE™ remains safe for use while maximizing its benefits for agriculture.

Resources for Product Stewardship:

Promoting product stewardship involves not only the efforts of ag-chem companies but also active participation from growers, distributors, and the broader agricultural community. Here are some resources Teleos Ag Solutions has created to help growers and distributors be good product stewards:

Stewardship Manuals: Teleos Ag Solutions has created several TELONE™ stewardship manuals, available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and Italian. These stewardship manuals cover proper Application, Storage, Handling & Transportation, and Calibration. To access the stewardship guides, click here.

Online Training: Customers have access to our robust online TELONE™ Training Center. Upon completion of the 1-hour course, participants are eligible for continuing education credits based on the state they live in. Customers can access seven modules including:

  • Introduction
  • Nematode Management
  • TELONE Application
  • Protective Measures
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • First Aid
  • Fire, Spills, & Cleanup

In-person Training: Each of our five TELONE™ Specialists conduct regular in-person trainings with their customers and also with custom applicators who apply TELONE™ in the field. These in-person trainings can range from 5-400 people and cover various safety topics, as well as Q&A’s to ensure that everyone is handling, storing, transporting, and using TELONE™ safely.

Product Label & Safety Data Sheets: Customers have access to all TELONE™ product physical labels and safety data sheets (SDS) on the Teleos website, under the Labels & SDS main navigation tab. Customers can reference the product label for TELONE™ application rates, applicable crops, safety information, and more.

TELONE Tip Sheets: Teleos creates regular content for its bulk-site customers in the form of Tip Sheets. These tip sheets cover common issues/scenarios that bulk sites face, including:

  • Containment Repair
  • Bulk Tank Selection
  • Air Dryers on Bulk Storage Tanks
  • Bulk Site Self Inspection Checklist

Responsible Application Information: The safe and effective application of agricultural chemicals like TELONE™ is a cornerstone of product stewardship. Before application, growers and applicators must consider several factors including rates and timing, weather conditions, soil type, and proper state/federal/local posting regulations. Teleos provides an online ordering portal for customers to access the needed buffer zone and field posting signs, as well as several overview sheets addressing application tips, including:

Personal Protection Equipment: Individuals handling chemicals like TELONE™ are required to wear appropriate PPE, which typically includes:

  • Protective Clothing: This includes coveralls, gloves, and boots made of materials that resist chemical penetration. These items are designed to prevent direct contact between the chemical and the skin.
  • Respiratory Protection: Depending on the form of the chemical and the application method, respiratory protection in the form of masks or respirators might be necessary to prevent inhalation of chemical fumes or dust.
  • Eye and Face Protection: Safety goggles or face shields shield the eyes and face from potential splashes or vapor exposure.

For a full list of appropriate PPE to use when handling TELONE™, check out our PPE handout (available in English and Spanish). Customers can purchase these approved items through Cardinal Safety Store and receive 10% using the code TeleosPPE.

In conclusion, the practice of product stewardship is paramount in the agricultural sector to ensure the responsible usage of chemicals like TELONE™. Teleos Ag Solutions’ commitment to product stewardship through research, education, innovation, monitoring, and collaboration sets a commendable example for the industry. By utilizing available resources, growers and applicators can contribute to sustainable agriculture by embracing safe and ethical product usage practices. In this collaborative effort, the agricultural community can strike a balance between productivity and environmental preservation, ensuring a bountiful harvest for generations to come.

The resources and information provided are meant purely for educational discussion, contains only general information about legal matters, and is not to be construed as advice. Please note that any information or resources provided are not legal or regulatory advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information provided as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional services. Teleos Ag encourages readers to consult with counsel, and their local, county, and state regulators. We make no representations or warranties, express or implied, in relation to the information provided through our resources and blog posts. It is the readers responsibility to know the laws related to 1,3- D, appropriate PPE, Licensing, etc., in his or her City, County, State, and Country.

Justin Harrison