Joel Dejong, an extension field agronomist in northwest Iowa, says the sessions target farmers who apply restricted-use pesticides to their own fields.
“If you have a private pesticide applicator license in Iowa, the first time around, you have to take and pass the test offered by the Department of Agriculture,” Dejong says. “After that, you can continue to renew that three-year license by attending a training session every year or by taking a test every three years.”
Dejong says the sessions will cover a variety of information that’s important to anyone who will come in contact with and use all kinds of pesticides.
“We spend a lot of time talking about health and safety and the risks that go with application, how do we keep the product on the location and reduce the amount of drift,” Dejong says. “We spend time talking about what happens with those pesticides in the environment so we know and understand what kind of risks for the long-term they might cause.”
The sessions will also cover what’s known as integrated pest management.
He says, “We talk a lot about when we need to use pesticides and when we need to scout for pests so we know when — or when not — to use those products.”
The Sioux County Extension Office will host a training session on January 15th at 7:00 PM, among the first of some 25 meetings being held across Iowa for about 2,200 private applicators to gain recertification.
The registration fee is $20 and pre-registration is required.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton