What do farmers do during the winter after the harvest? One thing is to attend training to fulfill requirements to be recertified for licenses. Most of these licenses or certificates have to be renewed every three years.
One of the more common renewal programs in our area is for the private pesticide applicator license. Farmers had to initially pass a series of examinations to ensure competency in general pesticide safety and application knowledge.
They may have also passed additional examinations for grain crops, livestock and forages, fruits and vegetables, and/or fumigation.
A large number of farmers in our area must recertify by March 31 to keep their license. The training emphasizes effective management strategies to enhance crop productivity, encourage responsible use of pesticide products, and promote safe practices for applicators, the general public, and the environment.
Training is conducted by OSU Extension educators with expertise in agriculture, pest management and pesticide safety. These educators receive training and updates every year to develop the latest teaching curriculum for their counties.
Hancock County will have a recertification program for private pesticide applicator licenses on Jan. 21 at a new location, The Great Hall meeting room at First Presbyterian Church on South Main Street in Findlay.
Farmers will be able to satisfy their recertification requirements by attending the three-hour program from 9 a.m. to noon. Core and all categories will be taught.
Farmers who already have a private pesticide license may obtain their fertilizer applicator certification training from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Farmers who do not have a private pesticide license must complete a three-hour program to obtain their fertilizer applicator certification. The program will be from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fertilizer certification is a result of a 2014 law that requires anyone who applies fertilizer to more than 50 acres to complete a training program in nutrient management before Sept. 30, 2017.
Registration is required for both the private pesticide applicator license and the fertilizer applicator certification programs. Call the Hancock County Extension Office at 419-422-3851 or email lentz.38@osu.edu.
Private pesticide applicator training has a fee of $35, which may be paid at the door. At this time, there is no fee for the fertilizer certification training.
There will also be another private pesticide applicator recertification program offered at the Hancock County Agricultural Center from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 18.
A fertilizer applicator certification training program for farmers with a private pesticide license will be offered from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 18. There will be no three-hour fertilizer applicator certification training program offered for individuals who do not have a pesticide license on that date.
The Hancock County Extension office will offer training from 9 a.m. to noon on March 16 for those who plan to take the private pesticide applicator examination. Training will prepare individuals for core and category 1, grain and field crops.
This year, individuals may take the private or commercial pesticide license examination for all categories at the Hancock County Agricultural Service Center on March 16, beginning at 1 p.m. Participants will need to register with the Ohio Department of Agriculture to take these examinations.
Farmers participate in the pesticide education and fertilizer certification programs to do their part in being good land stewards, to follow sustainable practices, and to improve the water quality of the Lake Erie watershed.
Lentz is extension educator for agriculture and natural resources for The Ohio State University Extension Service in Hancock County. He can be reached at 419-422-3851 or via email at lentz.38@osu.edu.
Lentz can be heard with Vaun Wickerham on weekdays at 6:35 a.m. on WFIN, at 5:43 a.m. on WKXA-FM, and at 5:28 a.m. at 106.3 The Fox.