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Help available for private pesticide applicators

Private pesticide applicators holding licenses that expire in 2011, as well as anyone seeking first-time private applicator certification, should contact their local University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension office for information on pesticide education training sessions beginning in January.

Licensed private pesticide applicators can buy and use restricted-use pesticides in their own farming operations after completing this training. About 11,140 private applicators statewide are eligible for recertification in 2011.

Training topics include results from the Farm Family Exposure Study, which answers two questions: How much pesticide exposure do farmers and their families experience; and what practical measures can be taken to lessen pesticide exposure?

UNL Extension cropping systems specialist Bob Klein compares effectiveness of drift reduction spray nozzles and gives guidance on conducting high quality pesticide applications.

Extension entomologist Bob Wright will give updates on insects affecting soybeans and extension plant pathologist Loren Geisler will have an update on soybean cyst nematode.

Other training topics include soybean aphid identification and management, as well as drift reduction nozzles, equipment calibration, worker protection standard, protective pesticide clothing and equipment, updates on pesticide laws and regulations and special emphasis on pesticide health impacts, said Clyde Ogg, UNL pesticide safety educator.

Private applicators needing recertification in 2011 should have received a letter notifying them of that fact from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture in mid-December, Ogg said.

“The letter includes a bar code, which eliminates the need to complete the standard NDA application form for those wanting to recertify,” he said. Applicators having the bar-coded letter with them at training sessions will not have to fill-out the application form.

All those eligible for recertification will be notified by their local extension office of recertification training sessions in their area, Ogg said.

UNL Extension provides the educational training, while NDA is responsible for licensing. Cost of UNL training is $30 per person.

For a list of training sessions, sites and dates, contact your nearest extension office or go online to http://pested.unl.edu/privateschedule, where pesticide education sites for private applicators are listed by county.

After private applicator training is completed, certification applications will be sent to NDA, which will then send a bill to the applicator for the $25 state license fee, Ogg said.

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