National School IPM

Developing Good Neighbor Practices (GNPs)

Whether pesticide drift is confirmed or not, drift complaints can consume valuable resources and time.

We believe that the most difficult and urgent cases of drift mitigation will occur where buffers are not practical, hence our strategy to develop Good Neighbor Practices.

Good Neighbor Practices should go hand-in-hand with your school IPM program.

We have been very fortunate in Florida to have very few high profile pesticide drift incidents as confirmed by a recent statewide survey of schools.  

The goal of Good Neighbor Practices is to open communication between school personnel and nearby growers in an effort to avoid exposure of staff and children to pesticide drift.  Having a plan that includes open lines of communication can help schools and neighboring growers work together to protect each other’s interests.   

Make this your first goal: Notify agricultural operations of the time of the day or special events when children will be outside and more subject to potential exposure to drift, should it occur. 

Before Drift Happens, Have a Plan:

Know who to call in the neighborhood and in the district.  Keep the numbers handy.

If you suspect drift, direct children and staff away from the affected area.

  1. Be familiar with and follow district procedures and emergency contacts.
  2. Let your neighbor know that you suspect chemical is drifting onto school property.
  3. Obtain the name(s) of the chemical(s) being applied and if possible, copies of the labels and MSDS.

Start talking! Let your neighbors know about your interest in working together. Welcome their input.  Tell them about regular schedules and special events on your school campus to help them make informed choices about farm chemical applications near your school grounds.  

A recent survey of Florida schools identified four top methods for communication with neighbors: neighborhood newsletters , using the school marquee, phone calls with neighbors and using the local news. 

Be sure to follow guidelines set by your County School Board.

Helpful resources include:

UF/IFAS Good Neighbor Brochure

Florida School IPM News: Good Neighbor Newsletterand More GNPs

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (386-418-5523)

Poison Control (1-800-222-1222)

UF/IFAS has Extension Offices in each of Florida’s sixty-seven counties. Twelve Research and Education Centers (RECs), Research and Demonstration Sites (RDSs), and several other offices are located throughout the state.

If you need help making a communication plan or getting to know your neighbors a great place to start is your local County Extension Office. With an office located in every county it has never been easier to partner with the University of Florida and your local County Government. To find an office near you please visit our map page.

Learn more about our GNP project with this narrated tutorial.

Funding for the GNP project provided by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.


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