COLUMBUS - Ohio private pesticide applicators are to see changes in licensing categories.
A pesticide license is required for farmers who use restricted-use pesticides.
"The Ohio Department of Agriculture has simplified the categories for private applicators," said Joanne Kick-Raack, Ohio State University Extension state director for the Pesticide Safety Education Program. "The change will mean fewer exams for new applicators and many current license holders will have fewer categories for recertification."
The simplification undertaken by ODA has reduced the number of licensing categories from 13 to seven, which is to reflect changing needs of Ohio farming operations.
Several smaller-use categories have been combined for applicators. For example, growers who produce a variety of food crops now are to need only one category for fruit and vegetable crops.
New categories for a private license are to include grain and cereal crops, forage crops and livestock, fruit and vegetable crops, nursery and forestry crops, greenhouse crops, fumigation and specialty uses.
Some applicators are to have fewer categories on their license, but still are to be able to purchase and use the same pesticide products. The specialty categories of seed treatment, non-cropland, aquatics, tobacco and wood preservation were consolidated into the first six categories. This means an applicator would be able to purchase materials for these applications with at least one category on his or her license.
Kick-Raack said the core category, which covers safety and stewardship for pesticide use, remains unchanged and is required for all applicators.
Recertification still is to require three hours of training. For questions, call the OSU Extension at (419) 447-9722. More information is available at pested.osu.
edu or ohioagriculture.gov.