The Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification Program administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture came into law this past summer. As a result, the program requires training (or meeting equivalent requirement), application for the certificate and continuing education to maintain the certificate. Those required to obtain the certificate prior to September 30, 2017, are anyone applying fertilizer to 50 or more acres of agricultural production. Agricultural production means the cultivation primarily for sale, of plants or any parts of plants, excluding start-up fertilizer.
Farmers and commercial fertilizer applicators that already have either a commercial or a private Pesticide Applicator License issued by the Ohio Department of Agriculture are required to attend a 2 hour minimum training session. These are often being held on the same day as Pesticide Applicators Recertification sessions. Farmers and commercial applicators that need an Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification, but do not have a pesticide license, need to attend a 3 hour training session. Training is provided by Ohio State University Extension. Nearly 100 total programs of both types are already planned through April, 2015 at locations across the state.
A complete listing of these programs is available at www.pested.osu.edu/NutrientEducation, if you are interested in attending these programs please preregister as there are seat limits at training locations. Individuals who hold a current Certified Crop Advisors or Certified Livestock Manager professional certification are exempt from the training but must apply for the Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Ohio’s New Agriculture Fertilizer Certification Requirements
Who needs a fertilizer certification?
Fertilizer certification is required if you apply fertilizer (other than manure) to more than 50 acres of agricultural production grown primarily for sale. If you have the co-op or other custom applicator make your fertilizer applications, you do not need the certification.
What fertilizer is included in the certification?
Fertilizer is any substance containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, or other plant nutrient in a dry or liquid formulation. All application types (broadcast, side dress, sub-surface, knifing, etc.) are included in the certification requirement. The only application exempted is start-up fertilizers that are applied through a planter. For this certification requirement, lime and limestone are not considered fertilizers.
Who is exempt from the training requirement?
Applicators who are a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) or Ohio Certified Livestock Manager are not required to attend training to become certified for fertilizer applications.
When do I need the certification?
The certification must be obtained by September 30, 2017.
What training is required for the certification?
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 for private applicators or for commercial applicators.
If an applicator does not have a pesticide license, they will be required to attend a three-hour fertilizer certification.
How much is the agricultural fertilizer certification?
The agricultural fertilizer certification is $30 for a three year certification. If an applicator already has a valid pesticide license, the $30 fertilizer certification fee will be waived.
For more information, visit www.pested.osu.edu/NutrientEducation.