The Iowa Department of Agriculture has temporarily waived the deadline for pesticide applicators to meet recertification requirements. Private pesticide applicators whose certification expired Dec. 31 and who planned to recertify by taking the test will now have until Dec. 31 to meet that requirement. Private pesticide applicators who planned to recertify by attending a private applicator training course and were unable to attend the training will now have until Sept. 30 to attend the 2019-20 Continuing Instruction Course.
“Those farmers with certification that was current up to Dec. 31, 2019, will be able to purchase and apply restricted-use pesticides for the 2020 growing season,” says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “However, this waiver does not apply to individuals who are receiving their initial pesticide applicator certification. We are in the process of coming up with an answer for people who need to be certified for the first time as pesticide applicators. We will make an announcement soon. We will get this done sooner rather than later.”
In-person testing canceled
Naig says his staff is working on an answer for the new applicators — those who want to become certified pesticide applicators for this spring. If you haven’t got certification yet, the in-person training classes have all been called off. But he emphasizes, “We will come up with an answer. Stay tuned as this is an evolving situation.”
The deadline for pesticide applicators to renew their certifications was waived by a proclamation signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds on March 22. The waiver comes after the Iowa Department of Agriculture canceled its in-person testing sessions through March 31, based on social distancing recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, to protect people from the COVID-19 virus. Applicators still need to meet pesticide certification standards by Dec. 31. They are encouraged to apply for recertification upon completion of the testing or training requirements. More details are at iowaagriculture.gov/covid-19.
“We worked with the governor’s office to find a solution that allows Iowa farmers and agribusinesses to continue operating while upholding the pesticide testing and certification standards in our state,” Naig says. “Agriculture is a critical part of our state’s infrastructure. We will continue supporting the ag community to prevent supply chain interruptions during this unprecedented coronavirus situation.”