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Do I Need Agriculture Fertilizer Certification or Not?

Many have been asking “Do I need this or not?” Here is the skinny on who does and who doesn’t need fertilizer certification training. This information is cited from the Ohio Nutrient Education and Management website of the Ohio State University Extension.

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.

How do I obtain certication?

If you DO have an Ohio Pesticide Applicator License, follow these steps:

  1. Attend a fertilizer certification training class for 2 hours offered in addition to your 3- hour pesticide recertification.
  2. Complete and sign a fertilizer certification form at the end of the training class.
  3. You're done! Because you already have an Ohio private applicator license, there is no charge for the fertilizer certification. You will recertify your fertilizer certification every three years along with your pesticide license.

If you DO NOT have an Ohio Pesticide Applicator License, follow these steps:

  1. Attend an initial fertilizer certification training class for 3 hours.
  2. Complete and sign a fertilizer certification form at the end of the training class.
  3. You will receive an invoice for $30 from the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) for your license. You will need to recertify for fertilizer certification every three years.
 
How long is the certification term?

The agriculture fertilizer certification period is June 1 to May 30 and is valid for three years. Two hours of recertification training will be required every three years to keep the certification. Applicators that currently have a pesticide license will have their fertilizer recertification calibrated with their existing pesticide recertification cycle.

Who is exempt from the fertilizer training requirement?

Applicators who are a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) or an Ohio Certified Livestock Manager are not required to attend training to become certified for fertilizer applications.

When do I need to obtain the fertilizer 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.

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.

Are there any more details?

The final rules for the agricultural fertilizer certification are available at http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/901%3A5.

What are the training objectives?

The training, which is offered by OSU Extension Agronomists and Extension Educators in partnership with the ODA, fulfills the education requirements of the state’s new agricultural nutrients law, which requires farmers who apply fertilizer to more than 50 acres of farmland to become certified with ODA.

The training offers guidance for the following:
•    Nutrient Management Certification Program
•    The Link between Phosphorus, Harmful Algal Blooms and Agriculture
•    Soil Testing for Confidence and Adaptive Management
•    Best Management Practices for Phosphorus
•    Yield and Water Quality Impacts
•    Best Management Practices for Nitrogen, Yield and Water Quality Impacts

 

For more information, contact Clermont Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator Gigi Neal at 513-732-7070 or neal.331@osu.edu.