COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio farmers unsure of whether they are required to get fertilizer certification or who have questions about how to maintain fertilization records can speak one-on-one with experts from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University during this year’s Farm Science Review, Sept. 20-22.
Ohio State University Extension will host a Pesticide and Fertilizer Applicator Exhibit at the three-day farm trade show, which is held annually at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.
The exhibit will provide information on Ohio’s fertilizer certification requirements as well as information on pesticide licensing and application technologies, said Mary Ann Rose, program director for OSU Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program.
Passed in 2014, Ohio’s agricultural nutrients legislation requires individuals who apply fertilizer on more than 50 acres to become certified by Sept. 30, 2017.
Already, more than 11,850 Ohio farmers have gone through Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training, or FACT, which offers information on best management practices to apply fertilizer for optimum crop yields, reduce the risk of nutrient runoff and improve water quality throughout the state.
The training, offered by OSU Extension, fulfills the educational requirements of Ohio’s new agricultural fertilization law, Rose said. Farmers who have questions about the law, pesticide licensing or application technologies can speak with Extension professionals at the exhibit during Farm Science Review to learn more.
“We’ll be available to explain who needs to be certified and why,” she said. “We are also there to offer farmers advice on how to apply pesticides and fertilizers both safely and legally.”
FACT was developed by CFAES field specialists and is offered in partnership with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The training provides research-based tactics to keep nutrients in the field and available to crops while increasing stewardship of nearby and downstream water resources.
In order to gain the Ohio Fertilizer Applicator Certification, farmers need to attend the FACT program in person and complete the necessary Ohio Department of Agriculture forms. Information on where the trainings are being held can be found on the Ohio Nutrient Education and Management website at pested.osu.edu/NutrientEducation/. A limited number of FACT meetings will be held this summer and fall, with many more offered in the winter of 2017.
“The exhibit at Farm Science Review will also have live demonstrations of spray nozzle technology, information on pesticide licensing and recertification as well as how to protect yourself against mosquito-borne illness like the Zika virus,” Rose said.
The Ohio Pesticide Safety Education Program provides training, education and outreach to pesticide applicators about the safe, effective and legal use of pesticides. The program works with farmers, businesses and public agencies to protect human health and the environment and serves as a critical part of job training and business growth in Ohio.
Farm Science Review, which is known as one of the largest farm trade shows, offers farmers and other visitors the opportunity to learn the latest agricultural innovations from CFAES experts.
That includes offering some 180 educational presentations and opportunities presented by educators, specialists and faculty from OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, which are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.
Advance tickets for Farm Science Review are $7 at all OSU Extension county offices, many local agribusinesses and online later in July at fsr.osu.edu/visitors. Tickets are $10 at the gate. Children 5 and younger are admitted free.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20-21 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 22.
Mary Ann Rose