By DAN MARTEN’S
University of Minnesota Extension
The private applicator permit process will be quite similar to recent years. For those who have private applicator permits that expire March 1, 2013, you should be getting a postcard from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and a flyer about renewal workshop dates and locations from University of Minnesota (U of M) Extension. When in doubt, check your permit card or call your county Extension office.
Farmers with permits that expire March 1, 2013, will be able to renew the permits by one of 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 online at www.pat.umn.edu.
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, 2013, need to take either the written test or the online test.
Test materials should be available at the county Extension offices by Thursday. Call first if you’re making a special trip to pick up a test. Some county offices will mail the test and mail the manual if the postage is paid in advance. Call to ask.
If you want the study manual, the cost is $10 again this year. This is a manual that was revised last year. The study manual can be viewed online also.
The U of M Extension workshop flyers are made for different regions of Minnesota. If you’re on the edges of a region, you might like to see if there are any workshops in the next layer of counties that could be closer to you. These flyers do list the Web site and the farm information line phone number, 1-800-232-9077, where there will be information about all the workshop sites. Most county Extension offices should also be able to help you get the information.
For the workshops, 2013 is the beginning of new three-year cycles. If you have attended the workshop in the past, there will be some review of laws and rules, but most of the material should be different. The discussion is aimed at topics related to safety for the applicator, safety for the farm family and other people around the farm, safety and effectiveness for the crop, safety in the food chain and safety for the environment.
Here are some of the details for workshop sites in Stearns, Benton and Morrison counties, as well as a couple of neighboring sites:
• Litchfield, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Meeker County Courthouse;
• Holdingford, Thursday Jan. 24, at City Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Bring a $5 donation for pizza or bring a lunch.
• Little Falls, Tuesday, Jan. 29 at the Morrison County Government Center from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Bring a $5 donation for pizza or bring a lunch.
• Belgrade, Thursday, Jan. 31 at the VFW from 12:30 p.m. to 4:p.m., hosted by Belgrade Cooperative.
• Buffalo, Thursday, Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Wright County Courthouse.
• Foley, Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Henry’s Catering from 12:30 to 4 p.m.
• Sauk Centre, Friday, Feb. 15, at Gerard’s Dining and Sports Bar from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., hosted by Crop Production Services.
• Cold Spring, Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Cold Spring American Legion from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., hosted by the Cold Spring Cooperative Creamery Association.
Those with questions in Stearns, Benton and Morrison counties are welcome to call the County Extension Office, or Extension Educator Dan Martens at 320-968-5077 if a local call to Foley or 1-800-964-4929.
Note: The new “Varietal Trial Publication” is posted online now at www.maes.umn.edu. Limited supplies of a printed copy are available at many county Extension offices now as well. Call to ask before making a special trip to town.