Land application of manure in Iowa begins in mid- to late-August and continues throughout the fall. Thus, it's time to remind manure applicators that they must be certified prior to applying manure to the land.
Who needs to be certified? Manure applicators in Iowa who haul or handle manure from a confinement site facility with more than 500 animal units must be certified. Also, all commercial manure applicators are required by Iowa law to be certified to apply manure in Iowa.
"Producers with new facilities, expanded facilities and in particular producers with newly-built confinement beef barns are reminded to check their animal units and meet certification requirements, if necessary," says Angie Rieck-Hinz, an Iowa State University Extension program specialist.
Confinement site applicators are farmers
Confinement site applicators - a category that includes livestock farmers - must attend two hours of annual training to maintain their three-year license. Applicators must pay certification and education fees. After March 1 of the current year, applicators who are renewing their certificates must also pay a late fee.
"We estimate that nearly half of the state's livestock confinement site applicators still need to attend training this year to meet their yearly training requirements," says Rieck-Hinz. "Confinement site applicators who do not attend yearly training will be required to take a make-up exam to become eligible to recertify."
What about crop farmers who haul manure?
Producers who do not own livestock, but who haul and land apply manure to their own fields from a confinement facility with more than 500 animal units also must be certified to apply manure as a confinement site applicator.
Another category of applicator, as defined by Iowa law, are the commercial applicators - those who haul manure as a business or do it as custom work. Commercial manure applicators must attend three hours of training or take and pass an exam annually, she says. Commercial applicators renewing their licenses after March 1 will need to pay a late fee in addition to the certification fee and education fee. Commercial manure applicators are reminded they must be associated with a commercial manure service.
Commercial and confinement site applicators may meet certification requirements by watching a videotape at their local ISU Extension county office or by contacting their local Iowa Department of Natural Resources field office to take an exam. Applicators should make an appointment, because due to scheduling conflicts, many ISU Extension and state DNR offices will no longer accept walk-in appointments.
Find out when you can come into county office
"Please contact your local ISU Extension County Office as soon as possible to determine dates and times available to meet training requirements," says Rieck-Hinz. "We are also reminding applicators that in addition to attending training or taking and passing the exam, they must submit the appropriate forms and fees to the DNR to complete certification requirements."
For more information about manure applicator certification requirements contact your local county extension office, or visit the Manure Applicator Certification Web page at: www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/mac.html or www.iowadnr.com/afo/appcert.html. You can also contact the nearest DNR field office www.iowadnr.com/fo/index.html for answers to your questions.