Some farmers have received a notice that informs them that their current pesticide applicator license will expire at the end of March 2017 and that they must complete their continuing education hours to renew before this date. The cost of renewal for this process will be a total of $65. Thirty dollars is sent to the Ohio Department of Agriculture for the license itself and $35 to OSU Extension for the continuing education requirement.
Farmers must have a private applicator license to apply restricted use pesticides on their farm or for an employer’s crops. A commercial license is required for individuals who apply products on fields other than their own or as a business. The Environmental Protection Agency determines whether a product is designated restricted or general use. Restricted use products may be organic or traditional pesticides.
To obtain a private applicator license, farmers must pass a series of exams that test their competency in pesticide safety and application knowledge. They also must be certified in one or more of seven categories in addition to Core knowledge. These categories include Grain and Cereal Crops, Forage Crops and Livestock, Fruit and Vegetable Crops, Nursery and Forest Crops, Greenhouse Crops, Fumigation, and Specialty Uses.
A license must be renewed every three years. A farmer can meet this requirement by completing three hours of approved pesticide continuing education anytime during the three year period. Recertification training emphasizes effective management strategies that enhance crop productivity, encourage responsible use of products, and promote safe practices for applicators, the public, and the environment. OSU Extension offices are currently offering recertification programs to fulfill the three hours of the continuing education requirement for license renewal. A farmer may also choose to retest every three years to renew a private pesticide license.
The Hardin County Pesticide Applicator Training (PAT) program will be offered Tuesday, March 14 at the Plaza Inn Restaurant in Mt. Victory. The session will begin at 9:00 am and end at 12:00 pm. This session is for private applicators and will consist of Core, Grain and Cereal Crops, Forage Crops and Livestock, and Fumigation. Farmers must pre-register online at http://pested.osu.edu or pick up a registration form to mail in from the Extension Office at 1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103 in Kenton. Further information regarding recertification in other areas can be obtained by contacting the Extension office before March 31.
A two-hour fertilizer certification program for any applicator that has a pesticide license will be also be offered on March 14, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at the Plaza Inn Restaurant in Mt. Victory. This training is in combination with the pesticide recertification and will meet the certification requirements only for those with a pesticide license. If a fertilizer applicator already has a yellow fertilizer certification card that says it expires on March 31, 2017, this fertilizer certification card will be automatically renewed by ODA without going through additional fertilizer certification training in 2017. The deadline for fertilizer certification is September 30, 2017. Pre-registration is required and you can register by calling the Hardin County Extension office at 419-674-2297.
Training dates for Commercial Pesticide Applicators can be found at http://pested.osu.edu/commercialapplicator. Training dates for Private Pesticide Applicators for other counties in Ohio may be found at http://pested.osu.edu/privateapplicator. The commercial and private applicator licenses are another way that commercial pesticide applicators and farmers show good stewardship in caring for our land and producing our food in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner.