BOTKINS, Ohio — Growers will have an opportunity to gain fertilizer applicator certification training at a workshop Aug. 29.
Known as Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training (FACT), the training allows farmers and commercial fertilizer applicators to meet the educational requirements of Ohio’s agricultural fertilization law. Passed in 2014, the legislation requires individuals who apply fertilizer to more than 50 acres to become certified by Sept. 30, 2017.
Already, Ohio State University Extension has trained more than 10,000 Ohio farmers on best practices to apply fertilizer for optimum crop yield, reduce the risk of nutrient runoff and improve water quality throughout the state.
The Aug. 29 three-hour workshop is just one of several training opportunities that will continue to be offered by OSU Extension for farmers throughout Ohio, said Jeff Stachler, an OSU Extension educator and event organizer.
The workshop is 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Palazzo, 309 S. Main St., Botkins, in Shelby County. The event, which includes refreshments, is free, with an Aug. 29 deadline to register. For more information or to register, contact Stachler at 419-739-6580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FACT was developed by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University 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.
Experts say soluble phosphorus runoff from farms is a contributor to the harmful algal blooms plaguing Lake Erie and other bodies of water in recent years.
“Our goal is to offer farmers more information on better management of phosphorus fertilizers,” Stachler said. “We’ll also provide farmers an opportunity to understand where we are at with phosphorus right now and what can be done with placement to improve the efficiency of phosphorus while reducing input usage and cost by keeping more of that fertilizer in the soil.
“We’ll also discuss nitrogen and ways to manage nitrogen.”
OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college.