By Richard C. Snell
Barton County Extension Agriculture Agent
Nobody hates regulations and paperwork more than I do.
However, sometimes it is necessary to prove to the public that we know what we are doing and are doing things the right way for their protection.
Anyone who uses Tordon, atrazine or a number of other ag chemicals has to have a private pesticide applicators license to purchase and apply them. These are called restricted use products. Commercial applicators, basically those who do application for anyone else, have a separate licensing and testing procedure that is more costly and tougher.
Farmers, ranchers or landowners who wish to purchase and apply restricted use pesticides on their farms, and do not have a current private applicators license from the state, will have an opportunity to get licensed at no charge Tuesday, March 21.
The Barton County Extension Council, the Barton County Noxious Weed Department and Dow AgroSciences Chemical Co. are teaming up to offer this program. It will be held at the Elks Lodge, in Great Bend, which is at the corner of 12th St. and Kansas Ave., starting at 10 a.m.
A buffet lunch will be provided, at no cost, and Dow AgroSciences will pay the $10 licensing fee that the Kansas Department of Agriculture requires. This gives you a license for five years, once you have passed the exam. This program is for new applicants or those who have let their previous license expire. Once you are licensed, the state allows you to renew by sending you a packet on your birthday, in the year of expiration, that you can complete at home.
The morning will be spent talking about the legal requirements, safe application principles and products. After lunch, farmers will take the open book exam of 100 questions. The private applicator handbook, from Kansas State University, will be used for the exam and producers may take it home for reference when they are finished. Applicants must score at least 75% on the written exam, in order to acquire the license.
Anyone wishing to participate n the program should call the Barton County Extension staff, in Great Bend, 316-793-1910, by 12 noon, Monday, March 20.