The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will start training for all Iowa manure applicators in January. The DNR’s Jeff Prier says they have a couple of times set up.
He says they will have a commercial applicator day at county extension offices on January 5th and then from mid-January through February those who work for confinement operations can come in and get their training.
Prier says all applicators need to sign up before December 30 to take advantage of this program. “They want to make sure there’s enough room in all the extension offices for people who want come in and watch videos, because some offices are pretty heavy with applicators and they actually have to split it up to session in the morning and then a session in the afternoon,” Prier says.
Prier says there were 2,714 commercial and 2,350 confinement site certified applicators in the state this year. “Every year we’ve kind of gone up in the commercial applicator realm shorter and shorter to get all the manure on, and it just takes more staff to get that accomplished.
Prier says they are offering something new this year for applicators. “Probably the biggest change this year is they now have the ability to log on and watch a series of videos online. Instead of having to go to an extension they can view it on their home computer over the course of a couple days if they want to,” Pier says. He says the system will remember where they are in watching, and then when they are done they can purchase their license on-line.
State law requires certification for manure applicators who handle, transport or apply manure from a confinement facility with more than 500 animals. There is more information on the DNR’s website at www.iowadnr.gov/afo.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)