Commercial/noncommercial pesticide training opportunities continue to grow

· 5 min read

Commercial/noncommercial pesticide training opportunities continue to grow

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Pesticide safety is at the heart of more than four dozen training sessions to be offered from January through April across Nebraska. The sessions are offered in multiple formats for commercial/noncommercial pesticide applicators to become certified or recertified.

Awareness and knowledge about pesticides are important, said Clyde Ogg, a Nebraska Extension educator who leads the Pesticide Safety Education Program.

“Applicators bear the burden to responsibly use pesticides and document their use,” Ogg said. “Knowledge and training help applicators keep current on products, methods and technology.”

Commercial applicators are those using restricted use and general use pesticides when making applications in lawn care or structural settings, for hire or compensation. Noncommercial applicators are those applying these same pesticides to sites owned by their employer, or for a government agency or political subdivision of the state.

Separate training is required before using paraquat and dicamba.

“The label is the law,” Ogg said. “The label is a legal document, so it is the applicator’s responsibility to read and comply with all label directions, even if they’ve used that same product before.”

Labels can change without warning due to updates in formulations or research. Changes might include the requirement of a respirator or a longer restricted-entry interval; the protection of a wildlife species; or a new rate of application.

The Pesticide Safety Education Program conducts pesticide safety and dicamba training. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture issues three-year licenses for applicators who pass their certification exams and pay the fee.

Coming this year is a new opportunity for potential commercial/noncommercial applicators to study for their initial certification.

“Our new digital flipbooks are a segue into the new decade,” Ogg said.

Internet-based flipbooks combine video with text, eliminating time and expense to attend on-site training. They are convenient and have searchable text, and most have color images. Watch for information about purchasing FlipBooks and subsequent testing here.

Initial training schedule

Anyone preferring the traditional initial training through print materials and on-site videos may still do so. Advance registration of $80 is required here. The start time is 8:30 a.m. for each of the following locations; exams are conducted at the end of sessions.

  • Beatrice: Gage County Extension Office, Fairgrounds, 1115 W. Scott St., March 17

  • Columbus: Platte County Courthouse, 2610 14th St., Feb. 25

  • Grand Island: College Park, Hall County Extension Office, 3180 W. Highway 34, Feb. 4 and 25

  • Lincoln: Lancaster County Extension Office, 444 Cherrycreek Road, Feb. 4 and 27, March 17 and April 9

  • Norfolk: Madison County Extension Office, 1305 S. 13th St., Feb. 4 and 25, and March 17

  • North Platte: West Central Research and Extension Center, 402 W. State Farm Road, Feb. 11 and 27, March 17 and April 9

  • Omaha: Douglas/Sarpy County Extension Office, 8015 W. Center Road, Feb. 11, April 9 and 16

  • O’Neill: Holt County Annex, 128 N. Sixth St., Suite 100, April 16

  • Scottsbluff: Panhandle Research and Extension Center, 4502 Ave. I, Feb. 11, 25 and 27, and April 9

Once certification is attained in the commercial classification, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture issues a license for an additional $90 fee. There is no charge for a noncommercial license.

Recertification training schedule

Commercial/noncommercial applicators whose licenses expire in April 2020 may recertify at an on-site extension video training session in February or March.

In 2020, about 3,500 commercial/noncommercial applicators — such as fumigators, lawn care workers and exterminators — need to be recertified. For individual applicator license status, click here or call the NDA at 402-471-2351. Applicators whose licenses have expired must retest.

Pre-registration of $80 is required here. The start time is 8:30 a.m. for each of the following recertification locations:

  • Beatrice: Gage County Extension Office, Fairgrounds, Feb. 18, March 10 and 19

  • Columbus: Platte County Courthouse, Feb. 20 and March 19

  • Grand Island: College Park, Hall County Extension Office, Feb. 6 and 18

  • Holdrege: Phelps County Fairgrounds, Ag Center, 1308 Second St., Feb. 12 and March 10

  • Lincoln: Lancaster County Extension Office, Feb. 6 and 20, and March 26

  • Norfolk: Madison County Extension Office, Feb. 12, 13 and 18, and March 10

  • North Platte: West Central Research and Extension Center, Feb. 13 and 18, and March 19

  • Omaha: Douglas/Sarpy County Extension Office, Feb. 13, March 19 and 26

  • O'Neill: Holt County Annex, Feb. 13 and March 19

  • Scottsbluff: Panhandle Research and Extension Center, Feb. 6 and 20, and March 24

Paraquat, dicamba training

Training is required prior to use; no fee is charged for either type of training.

For information on annual dicamba training, click here. For information on paraquat training, due every three years, click here.

Other recertification and training options

Crop production clinics are a great option to recertify in the agricultural plant category and demonstration/research subcategory. Registration of $80 is required here. Clinics begin at 8:45 a.m. local times.

  • Jan. 7 – Gering, Gering Civic Center, 1050 M St.

  • Jan. 8 – North Platte, Sandhills Convention Center, 2102 S. Jeffers St.

  • Jan. 10 – Beatrice, Southeast Community College, Truman Center, 4771 W Scott Road

  • Jan. 13 – Norfolk, Lifelong Learning Center, 601 E. Benjamin Ave.

  • Jan. 14 - York, Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Ave.

  • Jan. 15 – Mead, Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center, 1071 County Road G

The Nebraska Crop Management Conference is Jan. 22 and 23 at the Younes Conference Center, 416 Talmadge Road in Kearney. Pre-registration is required here. The cost is $80 per day or $150 for both days. Recertification is available either day.

The Nebraska Turfgrass Conference is Jan. 7-9 at the La Vista Conference Center, 12540 Westport Parkway in La Vista. Recertification in ornamental and turf pest control is available. Pre-register here or call the Nebraska Turfgrass Association at 402-207-0911.

The Nebraska Aviation Trades Association Convention is Feb. 25 and 26 at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney. Recertification in agricultural plant and aerial pest control is available. For more information, email tayor@youraam.com or call the association at 531-289-8323.

Learn more about pesticide safety.