There are two key updates for farmers regarding the Private Pesticide Applicator permitting process
First, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will mail a SECOND CORRECTED postcard for permits that expire March 1, 2012.
The second item is that a new private applicator's manual is being printed for 2012. The new manual and printed test materials should be shipped to county Extension offices during the week of January 9. The manual and printed test packets then might not be available through County offices until the week of January 16. It would be wise to call the Extension Office before making a trip to town for these materials. This is the first major revision to the manual for quite a number of years. For those who want a copy of the manual, the cost will be $10.
The private applicator permit process will be the same as it has been in recent years. Farmers with permits that expired on March 1, 2012 will be able to renew the permits with three options: 1) attending a renewal workshop conducted by U-M Extension; 2) working through a written test available from most U-M Extension County Offices; or 3) taking the test on-line at www.pat.umn.edu.
In most areas of Minnesota, farmers who need to renew their permits based on a March 1, 2012 date will get a flyer in the mail from U of M Extension that lists the location of renewal workshops.
People who are applying for the permit for the first time, and people who let the permit expire in a year prior to March 1, 2010, need to take either the written test or the on-line test.
Here are the details for Stearns, Benton and Morrison County workshop sites:
* Paynesville, Thursday January 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the American Legion. RSVP for lunch following this workshop by calling Paynesville Coop at 320-243-3494.
* Little Falls, Wednesday February 1, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Morrison County Government Center. Bring a $5 donation for pizza or bring a lunch.
* Melrose, Thursday February 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the American Legion. RSVP for lunch by calling Melrose Ag Services at 320-256-4615 by January 28.
* Avon, Friday February 24, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Joseph's Restaurant. RSVP for lunch provided by Centra Sota Cooperative by calling 1-800-964-4929 by February 20.
* Foley, Tuesday February 28, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Henry's Catering.
In the surrounding area look for further information about workshops that will be held at Alexandria on February 7, Morris on February 7, Willmar on February 15, Buffalo on February 16, Cambridge on February 21, and Litchfield on February 23. There are other workshops farther away.
The Private Pesticide Applicator permit process is aimed at topics related to safe and effective use of crop protection products.
For more information in Stearns County call locally to St. Cloud 255-6169 or 1-800-450-6171, in Benton call locally to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929, in Morrison call locally to Little Falls 632-0161 or 1-866-401-1111, and statewide call the Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077.
-By Dan Martens, University of Minnesota Extension