Hardin County – Some farmers have received a notice that informs them that their current pesticide and/or fertilizer applicator licenses will expire at the end of March 2020 and that they must complete their continuing education hours to renew before this date. Thirty dollars is sent to the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg to renew the license and $30 to OSU Extension for the pesticide continuing education requirement. If fertilizer recertification is needed, the cost to OSU Extension is $10 for the fertilizer 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 pesticide 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.
Farmers must have a private fertilizer applicator license if they apply fertilizer on 50 or more acres of crops grown for sale. This does not include crops that are used on the farm for their livestock or fertilizer used through the planter. It does include fertilizer applied in the fall, pre-plant, or side dressing. If fertilizer is applied by a commercial applicator, the farmer does not need to have fertilizer certification. Like pesticide applications, there must be record keeping of fertilizer applied to the farmer’s crops that can be requested by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. If an applicator does not have a fertilizer license and needs one, they can attend a three-hour training such as one held at OSU Lima on April 1, or study the fertilizer manual and take a test on their own.
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 and one hour of fertilizer continuing education during the same 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 pesticide continuing education requirement and additional one hour of the fertilizer continuing education requirement for license renewal. An applicator may also choose to retest every three years to renew a private pesticide or fertilizer license in place of recertification training.
The Hardin County Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification program will be offered Monday, March 9 at the Plaza Inn Restaurant in Mt. Victory. The pesticide recertification 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. A lunch option will be made available at the Plaza Inn Restaurant for additional cost. The fertilizer recertification will start at 1:00 pm and end at 2:00 pm. Farmers should call the Extension office at 419-674-2297, or stop by at 1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103 in Kenton to pre-register. Pre-registration is encouraged if not already done so to eliminate long lines at the door. Further information regarding make-up or specialty recertification in other areas can be obtained by contacting the Extension office by March 24.
Both fertilizer and pesticide recertification for make-up and/or specialty categories will be offered on March 31, from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Extension office in Kenton. Pre-registration is recommended by calling the Hardin County Extension office. Be sure to include pesticide categories needed and whether or not fertilizer recertification is needed. On March 31, fertilizer recertification will begin at 12:00 pm for one hour, and then the class will carry on with needed pesticide recertification categories. Seating is limited to 25 people at the Extension office.
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 a 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.