The North Carolina Pesticide Board has approved tighter standards for record-keeping by farmers and others in the state licensed to use pesticides covered under the Worker Protection Standards for Agricultural Pesticides.

The changes to the state’s pesticide rules will require licensed pesticide applicators to record the date and time each pesticide application was completed, and each application day must be a separate record. The records will also have to be kept for two years.

Previously, pesticide applicators were required to record only the date and approximate time that applications were made, and they had to keep the records for 30 days.

The new standards are aimed at increasing the protection of farm workers from pesticide exposure. The changes were mandated by legislation adopted by the General Assembly last year in response to a state task force’s recommendations.

If the rule changes are approved by the Rules Review Commission, they could take effect March 1.

The Board also adopted revisions to other regulations dealing with pesticide storage to bring North Carolina’s rules on bulk distribution of pesticides and pesticide storage into compliance with new federal requirements. These changes, if approved by the Rules Review Commission, could also take effect March 1.