Get Fertilizer Applicator Certification

Tony Nye - OSU Extension

Fertilizer Applicator Certification will be held this coming Thursday, June 22 at the Cherrybend Pheasant Farm, 2326 Cherrybend Road, Wilmington beginning promptly at 9 a.m. and concluding at noon.

To date, over 17,255 applicators have attended training offered by Ohio State University Extension for the agricultural fertilizer certification.

Time is running out for farmers to attend fertilizer applicator certification training. The Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification bill that was passed in May 2014 requires farmers applying commercial fertilizer to more than 50 acres to attend a course on fertilizer application.

Signed into law by Gov. John Kasich in May 2014, Ohio Senate Bill 150 created a first of its kind certification program for applying commercial fertilizer in Ohio.

Focusing on science-based practices, the bill requires farmers applying commercial fertilizer to more than 50 acres to attend a course on fertilizer application. Applicators must be certified no later than Sept. 30, 2017.

Who needs certified?

Fertilizer certification is required if you apply fertilizer (other than manure) to more than 50 acres used for agricultural production grown primarily for sale.

If you have the co-op or other custom applicator make all fertilizer applications, you do not need the certification.

What fertilizers are included?

Fertilizer is any substance containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, or other plant nutrient in a dry or liquid formulation. All application types (broadcast, side dress, sub-surface, knifing, etc.) are included in the certification requirement.

The only application exempted is start-up fertilizers that are applied through a planter. Lime and limestone are not considered fertilizers in the certification process.

Of the farmers that have taken the certification course, 93 percent said that it improved their knowledge of certification and near all of the participants said that learned something through the process that helps them with their production practices, saves them money and helps them through environmental stewardship.

While applicators have until Sept. 30 to become certified, the majority of training sessions for certification have already taken place for the year.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture will strive to gain voluntary compliance, but applying commercial fertilizer after Sept. 30 without a certification could result in fines and/or being charged with a misdemeanor offense.

The three-hour training covers water quality, nutrients, sediment, erosion and phosphorus application and will focus on best management practices and the latest research to keep nutrients in the field and available to crops while reducing nutrients leaving the field.

The law is broad, including the side dressing of corn and nitrogen applications to corn or wheat. For more information or to register for the Fertilizer Training contact the Clinton County Extension Office at 937-382-0901.

Also this next week on Friday June 23 is the Annual Tire Recycling program sponsored by the Clinton County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD), Clinton County Engineers and the Clinton County Solid Waste Management District. This program is by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

This event is for Clinton County residents, farmers, municipalities and townships only. Prior to June 20th, you may stop by the Clinton County SWCD office at 111 S. Nelson Ave., Suite 5, or contact them at 937-382-2461 to register the number of tires you would like to recycle.

Due to the funding of this project, the number of participants and/or tires may be limited. Registrations will be handled in the order they are received and will be on a first-come first-serve event.

Once a time is set up, tires may be delivered on Friday, June 23rd between the hours of 8:30 to 11:30 am to the Clinton County Engineer’s office, 1326 Fife Ave. in Wilmington.

For more information call the Clinton County SWCD office at 937-382-2461.

Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for 29 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.

Tony Nye

OSU Extension