Private Pesticide Applicator Training Opportunities for 2021

Private pesticide applicator training to obtain or renew a pesticide license is a reality for many area producers every three years. With the disruptions due to COVID-19, those applicators who were given an extension last year, expire this year, or are seeking a license for the first time will have some different options to explore along with the traditional in-person training option.

The first option is the traditional in-person private application training. Unlike previous years, pre-registration will be required due to room capacity limitations. Also different from past years, only one training will be hosted in Cedar County and will be held the week of February 22-26. Attendees can pre-register by visiting and selecting their desired training location and date, or by calling their local Extension Office to register. Attendees may be required to wear masks during this 2 to 2 ½ hour training. The cost of the training is $50/person. Another option just announced this last week is to attend one of four zoom trainings to be held in March and April. Each one will have a different agricultural area of focus. The areas to be focused on are corn, soybean, pasture and wheat/alfalfa. A few different steps will be required to attend these trainings.

1) Preregister to the training of your choice (topics and links below).

2) Training materials will need to be picked up at a County Extension Office prior to training. 3) Nebraska Department of Agriculture paper will need to be filled out and submitted when training materials are picked up.

4) The training fee of $50 will need to be paid when training materials are picked up.

5) Attend and participate in the training session for which you are registered.

No certification will be initiated unless all five steps are completed.

Each training will offer individuals the opportunity to pick one of the special topics. Those being offered are:

March 1 — Corn: Tar Spot and Bacterial Leaf Streak Western Corn Rootworm Palmer Amaranth and Waterhemp

March 8 — Soybean: Frogeye Leaf Spot, Soybean Cyst Nematode, White Mold Soybean Gall Midge Palmer Amaranth and Waterhemp

March 25 — Pasture: Thistle ID and Management Pocket Gophers & Prairie Dogs Grasshopper Management

April 9 — Wheat/Alfalfa: Fungicides and Wheat Insecticides in Alfalfa Weed Management in Alfalfa

The next option is the online private self-study course. This new online training is available at Once on the page, select, “Online private self-study program” from the list under the private applicator tab. The online option will take 3 to 4 hours to complete and allows for a test-out option at the beginning that if passed bypasses the rest of the training.

For those that are not comfortable attending in-person training and that don’t have internet or feel comfortable using a computer, there is a hard copy home self-study and exam. Please contact the UNL Pesticide Safety Education Program at 402-472-1632 to arrange for a hard copy to be mailed to you. Cost is $75/person.

The last option is to take a written, closed-book exam given by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA). Interested applicators should visit, and select “Private applicator exam” under the private applicator tab, for a list of available test-only dates, times, locations, and to register. The cost is $5/person.

Remember that upon the completion of your private pesticide applicator training, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture will send a billing invoice for an additional $25 state license fee. The license fee covers the three-year certification period.

If you would like to visit more about private pesticide training, please feel free to contact your local Extension Office.