Resistance, safety are key factors in private pesticide applicator training

After completing the Pesticide Safety Education Program training, licensed private pesticide applicators can buy and use restricted use pesticides in their farming operations.

December 12, 2016

Lincoln, Neb. — Private pesticide applicators holding licenses that expire in 2017, as well as anyone seeking first-time private applicator certification, can contact their local Nebraska Extension office for pesticide safety education training sessions. Around 200 statewide sessions will be held January-April.

After completing the Pesticide Safety Education Program training, licensed private pesticide applicators can buy and use restricted use pesticides in their farming operations. More than 10,400 private applicators statewide are eligible for recertification in 2017.

As farming and farming tools continue to become increasingly sophisticated, producers need new information, as well as refresher information, to help them make the best decisions for safety and economics, said Clyde Ogg, Nebraska Extension pesticide safety educator.

Nebraska producers are extremely knowledgeable and conscientious about safety and pesticides, Ogg said.

“The training serves as a reinforcement for all the techniques our producers are doing right, and boosts their understanding of some of the more technical aspects of pesticide safety,” Ogg said.

“Special emphasis this year will be to better understand herbicide resistance and the newly revised federal Worker Protection Standards,” Ogg added. Participants also benefit from many other training topics, including pesticide drift, Nebraska pesticide laws and regulations, the pesticide label, personal safety, environmental protection, integrated pest management, pesticides and application, application equipment and equipment calibration.

“One key objective this year is to better understand how weeds become resistant to pesticides, to manage resistant weeds and prevent that from occurring in the future,” Ogg said. Participants will use the updated EC 130 Guide for Weed, Disease and Insect Management, to learn how to use label information such as chemical group numbers as well as nonchemical techniques, to reduce development of pest populations resistant to pesticides. The comprehensive guide is included with registration.

Another new development for 2017 will be an overview of the newly revised federal Worker Protection Standards. Part of the revision goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017, and part goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018. One example is that aside from immediate family members, people under age 18 will no longer be able to handle (mix, load and apply) pesticides.

“The revised federal law is designed to minimize contact and exposure to pesticides,” Ogg said. “Extension is helping our producers to be aware of these new regulations and how they can keep their employees even safer.”

Those needing recertification in 2017 will be notified in two ways. One is through the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, the other is through Nebraska Extension.

By mid-December, private applicators needing recertification in 2017 may expect a notification letter from NDA. The letter includes a bar code that eliminates the need to complete the standard NDA application form.

"Those eligible for recertification will also be notified by their local Nebraska Extension office of recertification training sessions in their area," Ogg added.

Applicators should check their licenses for the expiration date. If it expires in 2017 and they have not yet received a letter from NDA, contact the agency at 402-471-2351 or 877-800-4080.

Extension provides the educational training for recertification, while NDA is responsible for licensing. The cost of Extension training is $30 per person; NDA licensing is a separate fee.

For a list of training sessions, sites and dates, contact the nearest Nebraska Extension office or go online to, where applicators will find a link to the 2017 private pesticide training dates. That link shows education sites for private applicators listed by county.

Yet another option of becoming certified or recertified is by completing a self-study course. The self-study is available in either a hard copy manual or online. This manual is available at Extension offices. The online course can be purchased at at the pesticide education section. The cost for both self-study courses is $60.

"After completing private applicator training, certification applications will be sent to NDA, which will then bill the applicator for the state license fee," Ogg said.

For inclement weather and possible cancellations, listen to a local radio or television station, or call the training site.

For more information, visit

Clyde Ogg
Pesticide Safety Education Program Coodinator

Author: Cheryl Alberts Irwin