By Connie Strunk
Plant Pathology Field Specialist
Sioux Falls Regional Extension Center
Private Pesticide Applicator Certification/Recertification Training Wrapping Up
It’s that time of year again when SDSU Extension begins to wrap up our Private Pesticide Applicator certification and recertification trainings which have been going on throughout the winter months. There are four classes remaining in the southeastern part of the state.
Private applicator training will be held on the following dates, times, and locations:
- March 4 (9 a.m.-noon) at Kelley Inn in Yankton
- March 11 (9 a.m.-noon) at the 4-H Center in Madison
- March 18 (9 a.m.-noon) at Mitchell Tech South Campus in Mitchell
- March 25 (6-9 p.m.) at the Sioux Falls Regional Extension Center in Sioux Falls
Who needs to be certified or recertified as a private pesticide applicator? If you plan to apply any pesticides to an agriculture commodity worth $1,000 or more, you need to be certified. It does not matter what pesticide you apply (herbicide, insecticide, or fungicide, etc.) you need to be certified as a Private Applicator.
You have three options to get certified. You many attend a three-hour recertification class at any certification site, you may stop by at your local Extension office or regional Extension center and pick-up the materials to complete the open-book home-study exam, or you may take the private applicator exam on-line at the Department of Agriculture’s Web site: http://apps.sd.gov/doa/pwt/.
Why do I need to become certified? First and foremost, it’s the law but certification gives you the tools to apply pesticides more properly, safely and profitably. You must be competent to read and follow a label, calibrate your sprayer, and apply pesticides. Your certification is good for five years and allows you to buy and apply general and restricted use pesticides. A private applicator cannot accept cash for spraying applications but can trade agricultural services; for example, you can spray your neighbor’s field if they bale your hay.
A private applicator is required to keep records for two years of all restricted use pesticides that they apply. Record keeping is a requirement for restricted use pesticides but consider keeping records of all pesticide applications as part of a good farm management plan. Record keeping books and information are available at your local extension office or regional Extension center. There are a certain percentage of individuals who are spot checked by the State Department of Agriculture every year.
For those of you who are coming to training we hope you will find the program very useful and practical. We will cover the South Dakota rules and regulations about applying pesticides. Depending on location, we will also discuss spray drift management, basic IPM principles, spraying conditions, pesticide spills, and plant disease topics. The training session is three hours long but it goes by fast. (I know, because I have heard it more than once!)
There will not be any charge for attending the private applicator class, taking the open-book home-study exam, or taking the exam on-line to become certified or recertified as a private pesticide applicator.
Individuals needing to become certified or recertified are encouraged to attend one of the three-hour private applicator sessions listed above. Everyone is required to bring a Gov’t issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.) to the training. If you are recertifying you also need to bring along your pesticide license certification number. If you need to renew or get certified to apply pesticides, I hope to see you at one of our remaining trainings in coming up in March.
For more information, feel free to contact me at the Sioux Falls Regional Extension Center at (605) 782-3290.