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March 8, 2021
 

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Private pesticide and fertilizer recertification training options

In Hardin County, farmers have four methods to complete their recertification hours to renew their licenses before July 1.

In Hardin County, farmers have four methods to complete their recertification hours to renew their licenses before July 1.

Certain farming practices require farmers to complete regulatory training. This training ensures that farmers have the knowledge and the tools to properly apply herbicides and fertilizers in a safe manner that protects the public and the environment.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is responsible for many of the implementation plans for farm regulations.

The Pesticide Applicator License is part of the pesticide implementation plan, which farmers must obtain to apply restricted-use pesticides.

Farmers are required to pass a test on pesticide safety and use, and in at least one category. Categories include Grain and Cereal Crops, Forage Crops and Livestock, Fruit and Vegetable Crops, Nursery and Forest Crops, Greenhouse Crops, and Fumigation.

Farmers had to have completed a three-hour training course or pass a written examination for the fertilizer certification. During the training, farmers received information on algae blooms in Lake Erie, importance of soil testing for nutrient management, and management practices to reduce nutrient loss from farm fields, particularly phosphorus.

The Ohio State University Extension is responsible for providing the continuing education for these regulatory programs in each county. Agriculture Extension Educators are given research updates each year to develop tailored training programs for their given counties. As a result, training may vary from county to county.

However, the pandemic has altered Extension Educators from solely providing in-person training, which has affected farmers whose licenses needed renewed in 2020 and 2021.

To accommodate the situation, ODA has extended license expiration dates for 2020 and 2021 license holders to July 1, 2021. In Hardin County, farmers have four methods to complete their recertification hours to renew their licenses before July 1.

• Complete online training developed by OSU Extension. Because of the pandemic, ODA has temporarily allowed farmers to complete their training online. 

A farmer will have to register and pay with a credit card for the online training. Charges for the training are $35 and $15 for pesticide and fertilizer recertification, respectively.

• Participate in an online live webinar being offered locally Wednesday, March 3 or Friday, March 5 or statewide March 25. Registration for the local webinars will be online at go.osu.edu/hardinagnr or pested.osu.edu for a statewide webinar on Thursday, March 25.

• In-person recertification training. The Hardin County Extension Office will offer two smaller in-person trainings Tuesday, March 2, and Thursday, March 4, at the Plaza Inn Restaurant in Mt. Victory. Pesticide recertification training will be from 9 a.m. – noon and fertilizer recertification training will be from 1-2 p.m.

Class size is limited, and pre-registration is required – no walk-ins. Register by calling Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator Mark Badertscher at 419-767-6037. Social distancing and masks will be required for in-person trainings.

Charges for in-person trainings are $35 and $10 for pesticide and fertilizer recertification, respectively. 

• Watch recertification videos at the Hardin County Extension Office. This option is for individuals who do not have a computer, reliable Internet, or are unable to attend an in-person meeting. It is also for individuals that may have specialized categories on their license that are not offered during the other trainings.

This option will become available on March 30 and March 31. Farmers who wish to pursue this option for training will need to call the previously listed phone number to sign up for an appointment. 

The Hardin County Extension office will assist area farmers to complete their training and will follow the county Health Department and OSU guidelines in keeping individuals safe during the pandemic. Please contact the Hardin County Extension Office for additional information or questions.