Agricultural fertilizer applicator certification is now required for farmers who apply fertilizer to more than 50 acres of agricultural production grown primarily for sale. This requirement was signed into law in June, 2014, and also requires certification for commercial agricultural applicators. Farmers who have their fertilizer applied by co-ops or custom applicators are not required to be certified.
Farmers and applicators need to attend a training course offered by Ohio State University Extension to become certified. Those who have a pesticide applicator license need to attend a two-hour fertilizer certification. If an applicator does not have a pesticide license, they will be required to attend a three-hour fertilizer certification.
A three-hour certification program for any applicator who does not have a pesticide license will be offered on March 25, 2015, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Romers, Greenville, Ohio. This free meeting which will also include a sponsored lunch and a keynote address by Dr. John Fulton on Big Data and Precision Agriculture will meet the certification requirements for those with and without a pesticide license. Pre-registration is required and online registration is available at nutrienteducation.osu.edu or you can register by calling the extension office at 937.548.5215.
Fertilizer is defined for the regulation as any substance containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, or other plant nutrient in a dry or liquid formulation. All application types such as broadcast, side dress, sub-surface, knifing and other are included in the certification requirement. Lime and limestone are not included as fertilizer for the certification and farmers who only use starter fertilizer in their planter boxes are exempted. Applicators who are a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) or Ohio Certified Livestock Manager are not required to attend the training. The agriculture fertilizer certification is not required for manure applications as these are currently regulated.
Applicators who meet the criteria for the certification must attend training by September 30, 2017. The Ohio Department of Agriculture is the agency issuing the certification for agriculture fertilizer applications. Their website has information regarding the regulation at agri.ohio.gov. For more information about other training session or general materials for the agriculture fertilizer certification, visit nutrienteducation.osu.edu or contact Sam Custer at OSU Extension, Darke County at 937.548.5215 or firstname.lastname@example.org.