April’s Ag Advice

April's Ag Advice by April Borders Spring will soon be here and we will be anxious about getting into the fields and start working. But before you get too carried away with your work, you should check to see if you are still certified to apply chemicals.

Stop and pull out your certification card and check the expiration date and find out if you are one of the lucky individuals whose certification expired as of Dec. 31, 2003. If you are one of these lucky people, you need to recertify!

What qualifies you as a private applicator? Well according to state regulations, any individual who uses any pesticide in the production of an agricultural commodity with the gross sales potential of $1,000 or more per year on property owned or rented by them or their employer, must be certified as a private applicator.

Private applicator certification also includes applications on another's property if done in exchange for services, not for hire. The person who actually does the application is the one who must be certified.

Applicators may certify by either attending private applicator certification training or by completing a take home open book exam. Even though it is a take home exam, you must complete the exam yourself and return it to the Extension office. In order to pass, you must receive an individual score of 70 percent or greater. Your certification is then valid for five years.

The following locations and dates have been set for the 2004 private applicator trainings. We hope that you will plan on attending one of these training sessions: Feb. 2, Tyndall, 4-H Center; Feb. 3, Tripp, Fire Hall Meeting Room; Feb. 23, Vermillion, 4-H Building; Feb. 24, Parker, Community Building; Feb. 26 Elk Point, Courthouse Basement; March 9, Canton, Extension Center.

If you are a commercial applicator, your recertification training session is on Friday, Jan. 30 in Yankton at the Kelly Inn or you can go to Sioux Falls on Monday, Feb. 2 and attend the training session at The Oaks.

What qualifies you as a commercial applicator? Any applicator who applies any pesticide for hire (i.e. and elevator employee fumigating grain), or a governmental employed who applies any pesticide as part of their job responsibility (i.e. a school janitor treating dandelions) must be certified as a commercial applicator. Uncertified applicators may no longer work under the direct supervision of certified by passing the general exam and the category exams in the specific areas in which they make application. Applicators may recertify by attending a Commercial Applicator Recertification Training Meeting or by retesting. Retesting for the Commercial Applicator is not a take home test; it must be taken in the Extension Office.

For more information about your recertification contact the Extension Office at 677-7111.

Upcoming programs:

Jan. 20 � Intermediate Marketing � Beresford.

Feb. 9 � Crop Production Clinic � Parker.

Feb. 10 � Crop Production Clinic � Beresford.

Feb. 11 � Crop Production Clinic � Yankton.

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