Last chance for 2015 private pesticide applicator training in South Dakota |

Last chance for 2015 private pesticide applicator training in South Dakota

SDSU Extension 2015 Private Pesticide Applicator Certification/Recertification Training is wrapping up in South Dakota with four training sessions remaining across the state. March 19 in Pierre; March 24 in Watertown; March 27 in Mitchell and March 30 in Sioux Falls.

Who needs to be certified or recertified as a Private Pesticide Applicator? “If you plan to apply any pesticides to an agriculture commodity worth $ 1,000 or more, you need to be certified,” said Connie L. Strunk, SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist. “It does not matter what pesticide you apply (herbicide, insecticide, or fungicide, etc.) you need to be certified as a Private Applicator.”

Individuals have three options to get certified or recertified.

They may attend a 3-hour recertification class at any certification site or they may stop by at their local SDSU Extension Office or SDSU Extension Regional Center and pick-up the materials to complete the open-book home-study exam, or they may take the Private Applicator exam on-line at the South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s website:

Why do you need to become certified? “First and foremost, it’s the law,” Strunk said. “In addition to that, certification gives you the tools to apply pesticides more properly, safely and profitably.”

Applicators must be competent to read and follow a label, calibrate their sprayer, and apply pesticides.

The certification is good for five years and allows applicators to buy and apply general and restricted use pesticides.

A private applicator cannot accept cash for spraying applications but can trade agricultural services; for example, they can spray their neighbor’s field if the neighbor were to bale the applicator’s hay.

A private applicator is required to keep records for two years of all restricted use pesticides that they apply.

“Record keeping is a requirement for restricted-use pesticides but consider keeping records of all pesticide applications as part of a good farm management plan,” Strunk said.

Record keeping books and information are available at the local extension offices or Regional Extension Centers. Each year a certain percentage of individuals are spot checked by the State Department of Agriculture.

For individuals who are coming to training we hope you will find the program very useful and practical.

During the trainings, Extension personnel will cover the South Dakota rules and regulations about applying pesticides. Depending on location, we will also discuss drift management, how to read a pesticide label, how to calibrate a sprayer, weed resistance issues, crop disease management and a regional pest management update.

There is no charge for attending the private applicator class or taking the open-book home-study exam to become certified or recertified as a private pesticide applicator.

Private applicator training dates, times & locations:

March 19 in Pierre at the SDSU Extension Pierre Regional Center (412 W. Missouri Ave.). Training begins at 1 p.m. CST

March 24 in Watertown at the SDSU Extension Watertown Regional Center (1910 West Kemp Ave.). Training begins at 6 p.m. CST

March 27 in Mitchell at the Mitchell Tech Nordby Trade Center (1800 E. Spruce St). Training begins at 9 a.m. CST

March 30 in Sioux Falls at the SDSU Extension Sioux Falls Regional Center (2001 E. 8th St.). Training begins at 6 p.m. CST

Individuals needing to become certified or recertified are encouraged to attend one of the 3-hour private applicator sessions listed above.

For more information please feel free to contact the nearest Extension Regional Center or visit

–SDSU Extension