Options in the Panhandle to Recertify Pesticide Applicator Licenses

2018 Crop Production Clinic attendees in session
Extension Entomologist Julie Peterson speaking on insect management at a 2018 Crop Production Clinic.

Options in the Panhandle to Recertify Pesticide Applicator Licenses

Several options are available for Western Nebraska residents who need to recertify their pesticide applicator licenses, or those who need to obtain certification for the first time. The options may be different, depending on the type of license: commercial/non-commercial, or private applicators. 

Due to the COVID pandemic, any scheduled in-person classes are subject to limits on the number of attendees and also potential cancellation. Virtual options are available. 

The First Option: Crop Production Clinics 

Pesticide applicators recertification is being offered at the nine Crop Production Clinics being offered online via Zoom that began Jan. 5 and continue through Jan. 21. Each session content will have a regional focus. Individual clinics will be customized to address topics specific to that area of the state, allowing growers to get research-based information on the issues they face locally. The Crop Production Clinics are only available for recertification; you cannot get a new applicators license. 

Commercial / Non-commercial pesticide applicators can renew their licenses in these categories: General Standards (00), Ag Plant (01), and Demonstration and Research (D/R). private pesticide applicators may also recertify their licenses at these clinics. Complete agendas and online registration for each site are on the Crop Production Clinics page. Pre-registration is required and costs $80. Remaining dates include: 

  • Western Nebraska Focused Clinics: Jan. 12, 19 (Tuesdays). 
  • Central Nebraska Focused Clinics: Jan. 13, 20 (Wednesdays). 
  • Eastern Nebraska Focused Clinics: Jan. 14, 21 (Thursdays). 

The advantages of this option: applicants will have nine opportunities to get recertified; Zoom presentations can be watched from home without traveling; there’s no chance of in-person trainings being cancelled due to COVID-19 or bad weather; and there’s no chance of being denied a space at an in-person training due to limits on the number of attendees. 

The Second Option: In-Person Trainings for Private Pesticide Applicators 

Private pesticide applicators, such as agricultural producers, can renew their certificate or get initial certification by attending training sessions in January, February and March. After completing the training, farmers and ranchers can buy and use restricted-use pesticides in their own farming operations. 

The training covers topics such as Nebraska's pesticide laws and regulations, the pesticide label, personal safety, the worker protection standard, environmental protection, integrated pest management, pesticides and application, application equipment, equipment calibration, pesticide drift awareness near sensitive sites like apiaries and vineyards, how to use the Driftwatch website, and control options for prairie dogs and pocket gophers, and strategies to reduce chances of developing weed populations resistant to herbicides. Cost of the training is $50. 

Due to COVID-19, for the in-person training, pre-registration is required for each individual for all training dates and locations, whether getting their applicators license for the first time or re-certifying. Seating space will be limited and once filled, no more registrations will be accepted, and the applicator will have to choose another date and location. Those that do not pre-register may be turned away due to lack of space. 

Please call the County Extension Office in the location you wish to attend to pre-register and confirm sufficient space for the date of your training.  

These sessions offer both recertification and new applicator licenses. Any permit holder who needs to recertify should have received a letter from the State Department of Ag that their permit was expiring. If they bring that letter to the training, they can avoid filling out the application form and save time.  

These trainings are subject to cancellation at the last moment due to COVID-19 safety protocols or bad weather and may not be re-scheduled. If in-person trainings are allowed, participants are encouraged to follow Panhandle Public Health District and UNL safety guidelines for COVID-19 at these trainings by wearing a mask / facial covering and maintain 6 feet physical distancing. 

Locations and dates for upcoming private pesticide training sessions: 

  • Sidney, Jan. 21: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Cheyenne County Community Center (call 308-254-4455) 
  • Sidney, Jan. 26: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Cheyenne County Community Center (call 308-254-4455) 
  • Scottsbluff, Jan. 28: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Panhandle Research & Extension (call 308-632-1480) 
  • Chappell, Feb. 2: 1 p.m., Lion’s Den (call 308-874-2705) 
  • Alliance, Feb. 3: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Knight Museum (call 308-762-5616) 
  • Kimball, Feb. 4: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., 4-H Building (call 308-235-3122) 
  • Harrisburg, Feb. 9: 1 p.m., Banner County Courthouse (call 308-235-3122) 
  • Chadron, Feb. 10: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Dawes County 4-H Building, Fairgrounds (call 308-432-3373) 
  • Bridgeport, Feb. 11: 8: 30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Prairie Winds Community Center (call 308-262-1022) 
  • Mirage Flats, Feb. 17: 1 p.m., St. Peter’s Lutheran Church (call 308-327-2312) 
  • Crawford, Feb. 24: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Community Center (call 308-432-3373) 
  • Rushville, March 3: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., American Legion (call 308-327-2312) 
  • Oshkosh, March 4: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Wesleyan Church (call 308-772-3311) 
  • Alliance, March 10, 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Knight Museum (call 308-762-5616) 
  • Harrison, March 17: 1 p.m., Fire Hall (call 308-432-3373) 
  • Scottsbluff, March 25: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Panhandle Research & Extension Center (call 308-632-1480) 

The third option: self-study 

Private pesticide licenses also can be obtained by completing an online course, either for recertification or new licenses. Pesticide applicators can purchase access to the online course via https://pested.unl.edu or http://marketplace.unl.edu and going to the Pesticide Education section. Cost of the course is $50. Those who complete pesticide applicator training then need to apply to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture for a three-year license card for a $25 fee.

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