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Serving: IN
Coronavirus
Bulk containers of herbicide and fertilizer fill an on-site farm storage building
AGRICULTURE PRESSES FORWARD: Authorities are doing what they can so farmers and agricultural suppliers can operate effectively during the COVID-19 crisis. However, following pesticide labels is still the law.

Info about handling pesticide, fertilizer during COVID-19 crisis

Some changes have been made, but you still must follow labels and the law with pesticides.

Fields will get fertilized and sprayed with herbicides. Crops will get planted. State leaders of various agencies have reassured farmers they are committed to making sure that can happen. However, to say everything will operate normally this spring, even in agriculture, would be a huge stretch, if not downright misleading. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into what is “normal.”

In light of this, Dave Scott with the Office of the Indiana State Chemist notes that OISC issued what it calls “temporary regulatory compliance guidance” as a response to the pandemic. You can find the complete document at oisc.purdue.edu/pesticide. Updates will be posted there as this rapidly evolving situation moves forward.

The guidelines cover what’s being canceled in terms of training and testing. Just as important, they also emphasizes what’s still in effect. Here is a brief summary. Refer to the entire document for exact wording and guidance.

Training and testing at Purdue University. All pesticide and fertilizer applicator certification training and examination sessions scheduled at Purdue through May 17 are canceled. Whether sessions scheduled after May 17 proceed or not will be evaluated on a week-by-week basis.

Ivy Tech option. Self-study and individual examination at an Ivy Tech Examination Center is still an option if the center near you is open. Many have already closed.

Certification and licensing still required. If you use or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides during 2020, you must be certified and licensed, as always.

Registered technician requirements. OISC will suspend registered technician requirements for pesticide and fertilizer application under supervision of a certified applicator for general use pesticides. Requirements for applying for registered technician credentials will be suspended through Dec. 31, unless legal counsel determines another date must be used.

However, supervision requirements for noncertified applicators and registered technicians remain in place.

Follow labels. The temporary guidance document issued by OISC emphasizes that it does not exempt applicators from complying with product label directions or all other existing requirements.

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