By Dan Martens
University of Minnesota Extension
There are two key updates for the Private Pesticide Applicator permitting process that farmers should take note of. First, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will mail a second corrected postcard for permits that expire March 1, 2012.
Second, a new private applicator’s manual is being printed for 2012. The new manual and printed test materials should be shipped to county Extension offices during the week of Jan. 9. The manual and printed test packets then might not be available through county offices until the week of Jan. 16. Call the Extension Office before making a trip to town for these materials.
This is the first major revision to the manual in many years. For those who want a copy, the cost will be $10.
The private applicator permit process will be the same as it has been in recent years. Farmers with permits that expire on March 1, 2012, will be able to renew the permits with three options: 1) attending a renewal workshop conducted by U of M Extension; 2) working through a written test available from most U of M Extension county offices; or 3) taking the test on-line at www.pat.umn.edu.
In most areas of Minnesota, farmers who need to renew their permits based on a March 1, 2012, date will get a flyer in the mail from U of M Extension that lists the location of renewal workshops.
People who are applying for the permit for the first time, and people who let the permit expire in a year prior to March 1, 2010, need to take either the written test or the on-line test.
Here are the details for Stearns, Benton and Morrison County workshop sites:
• Paynesville, Thursday Jan. 19, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the American Legion. RSVP for lunch following this workshop by calling Paynesville Coop at 320-243-3494.
• Little Falls, Wednesday Feb. 1, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Morrison County Government Center. Bring a $5 donation for pizza or bring a lunch.
• Melrose, Thursday Feb. 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the American Legion. RSVP for lunch by calling Melrose Ag Services at 320-256-4615 by Jan. 28.
• Avon, Friday Feb. 24, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Joseph’s Restaurant. RSVP for lunch provided by Centra Sota Cooperative by calling 1-800-964-4929 by Feb. 20.
• Foley, Tuesday Feb. 28, from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Henry’s Catering.
In the surrounding area look for further information about workshops that will be held at Alexandria on Feb. 7, Morris on Feb. 7, Willmar on Feb. 15, Buffalo on Feb. 16, Cambridge on Feb. 21, and Litchfield on Feb. 23. There are other workshops farther away.
The Private Pesticide Applicator permit process is aimed at topics related to safe and effective use of crop protection products.
For more information in Stearns County, call locally to St. Cloud 255-6169 or 1-800-450-6171, in Benton call locally to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929, in Morrison call locally to Little Falls 632-0161 or 1-866-401-1111, and statewide call the Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077.