Pesticide Use Regulations
When using pesticides, the label is the law. Make sure you read it! More information about pesticide use regulations, including the Pesticide Applicator Certification, is available online at dec.ny.gov/chemical/298.html.
Note that these pesticide regulations are for farmers applying pesticides to rented or owned property. Different regulations may apply for having employees, interns, or volunteers apply pesticides. For more information, see the EPA’s “How to Comply with the Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides” at epa.gov/oecaagct/epa-735-b-05-002.pdf.
Becoming a Certified Pesticide Applicator
A farmer using restricted use pesticides to protect crops and animals from pests on property owned or rented is considered a “private” applicator and must become certified by the DEC and show his/her pesticide license when purchasing these products. General use pesticides, considered to be safer and in general use, do not require applicator certification for purchase and use.
To be eligible for certification, you must have one season’s experience working with the crops, livestock or stored products on which you will use pesticides and be at least 17 years of age.
To become certified, you must take an exam based on information in the Pesticide Training Manual (Core Manual). Additionally, there are questions pertaining to the situation in which you use pesticides (category manual). You can obtain manuals through county Cooperative Extension offices. Cooperative Extension also offers pesticide applicator training programs or you may study on your own and make an appointment with the Department of Environmental Conservation to take the exam.
For information on manuals and training, contact your county Cooperative Extension office or call (607) 255-1866, email the Pesticide Management Education Program at , or visit psep.cce.cornell.edu/certification/Certification.aspx.
For questions about the certification process and exams, call the Department of Environmental Conservation office in your region. Upon passing the exam, your certification is valid for five years. There is a fee for the exam and for certification.
During the five years that you are certified, you must obtain continuing education credits toward recertification. Credits can be obtained by attending meetings where pest management topics are discussed and credits offered. A course calendar can be found at http://psep.cce.cornell.edu/certification/Recertification.aspx.
Credits must be earned in more than one calendar year and consist of at least 25% category-specific training in each category of certification.
You are obligated to keep records of the credits you receive and turn in record sheets to Department of Environmental Conservation when they notify you that your license is about to expire. If you do not have the required credits, you will have to take the exam again.