A class to help farmers prepare to become private pesticide applicators has been planned for January 30 at the Hardin County Extension office, 1021 West Lima Street, Kenton. In Ohio, pesticide applicators are required by law to have an Ohio Pesticide Applicators License in order to purchase and apply restricted-use chemicals. These pesticides include but are not limited to herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. This class will begin at 12:30 pm and end at 4:30 pm. There is a $25 registration fee which covers books and refreshments for those enrolled.
The class will emphasize the two main categories that most Hardin County pesticide applicators need, which are Core (applying pesticides properly and safely), as well as Grain and Cereal Crops. Resources will be shared for other categories that are available for certification, which include Forage Crops & Livestock, Fruit & Vegetable Crops, Nursery & Forest Crops, Greenhouse Crops, Fumigation, and Specialty Uses. Once a trainee has properly prepared for their pesticide license, they can schedule to take a test at an Ohio Department of Agriculture testing site. The closest local testing site is the OSU Lima campus. Ohio Pesticide Licenses are good for three years, and then the applicator must recertify by attending a three-hour recertification meeting before license expiration or re-test.
There are several reasons why someone may wish to become a private pesticide applicator. These reasons may include that they plan to take over the pesticide certification for their farm due to retirement or a change in responsibilities, they plan to use restricted-use chemicals in addition to general-use chemicals to have more options to control problem weeds (dicamba products XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan require that the person mixing and spraying be a licensed pesticide applicator) or pests, or they are new to spraying pesticides on the farm. The course is not designed for commercial pesticide applicators, as they must get training directly from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Instructors for the class include Extension Educators Dennis Riethman, Mercer County; Jeff Stachler, Auglaize County; and Mark Badertscher, Hardin County. Those planning to participate in the class can call the Extension office at 419-767-6037 by January 24.