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BRYAN, OH -- 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.

The law requires farmers and applicators 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 course. If an applicator does not have a pesticide license, they will be required to attend a three-hour fertilizer certification course. To accommodate everyone, the next class is a three hour class.

A three-hour certification training course for any applicator is scheduled for Nov. 10, 2016, starting at 6 p.m. at the OSU Extension Office in the Williams County Community Offices Building at 1425 E. High St. in Bryan OH. This free training course will meet the certification requirements for those with and without a pesticide license. Pre-registration is required with online registration available at nutrienteducation.osu.edu. You can also register by calling Florian Chirra, Director and Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, at 419-636-5608.

Fertilizer is defined for 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 others are included in the certification requirement. Lime and limestone are not included as fertilizers 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 Sept. 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 sessions or general materials for the agriculture fertilizer certification, visit nutrienteducation.osu.edu.

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