Pesticide applicator training in western Nebraska

Nebraska Extension will be offering training throughout western Nebraska in early 2017, from late January through April, for licensed pesticide applicators seeking first-time certification or recertification of their license for 2017.

A license is required to use or purchase restricted-use pesticides. Extension provides training for several classes of certification, including commercial, non-commercial (such as local government or research purposes) and private applicators (such as ag producers).

Private pesticide applicators with licenses expiring in 2017, and anyone seeking first-time private applicator certification, can attend these upcoming training sessions:

Harrison, March 29: 1 p.m., Sioux County Courthouse (call 308-668-2428)

Valentine, April 4: 1:30 p.m. CST at the Fairgrounds (call 402-376-1850)

Scottsbluff, April 6: 1 p.m., Panhandle Research & Extension Center (call 308-632-1480)

Licensed private pesticide applicators can buy and use restricted-use pesticides in their own farming operations after completing this training. Main topics include Nebraska's pesticide laws and regulations, the pesticide label, personal safety, the worker protection standard, environmental protection, integrated pest management, pesticides and application, application equipment, equipment calibration, pesticide drift awareness near sensitive sites like apiaries and vineyards, how to use the Driftwatch website, and control options for prairie dogs and pocket gophers, and strategies to reduce chances of developing weed populations resistant to herbicides.

To reserve space for each session, or for more information, call the number for the local Extension office listed after each date. The cost of training is $30. Applicators whose permits are due for renewal should have received a letter from the State Department of Agriculture. They can bring that letter to the training session and avoid having to fill out an application form. 

Private pesticide licenses also can be obtained by completing an online course. Pesticide applicators can purchase access to the online course via http://marketplace.unl.edu and going to the Pesticide Education section. Cost of the course is $65. Those who complete pesticide applicator training then need to apply to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture for a three-year license card for a $25 fee.

In addition to the private applicator training sessions listed above, Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program has scheduled training for commercial and non-commercial applicators whose licenses expire this year, or who need to take initial training.

Recertification in several applicator categories is offered at the following locations and dates. Check with the Pesticide Safety Education Program for details, such as which categories are available at each site. Preregistration is required at pested.unl.edu.

Commercial and non-commercial license, initial training all sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. at these dates and locations:

March 21, Valentine: Cherry County Extension Office

April 13, Scottsbluff: Panhandle Research and Extension Center

UNL conducts the training programs, and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture grants the licenses.  NDA testing is offered at initial training locations. Questions about individual applicator license status should be directed to NDA at 402-471-2351 or 877-800-4080.