The state of Texas has more licensed private pesticide applicators than any other state in the nation and it also has one of the most rigorous licensing programs.
"Not every pesticide requires that an individual would have had to have had a license, but there are certain production tools, that are what we call restricted use products. In many instances they’re restricted to insure environmental protection. In other instances they’re restricted to insure public health protection, and many of those tools are so viable to the agricultural enterprise that we insure that that individual has access by getting trained.”
Don Renchie works in the Agricultural and Environmental Safety Program for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.
“What is does is it insures that there’s a lesser amount of possibility for me as a farmer to use that product in a manner that’s going to kill my neighbor’s crop, and/or my neighbor’s livestock, conversely the same thing for me as a rancher. It insures that I minimize the opportunity for me to kill my neighbor’s crops because if not properly used or if you fail to read the label, this can happen.”
In many areas, Texas is more restrictive than the Federal government.
“What we’re trying to do in Texas is be proactive, by recognizing issues like ground water protection, surface water protection, endangered species, so in this training that we’re offering over there today each one of those subject matter areas is being addressed.”
Once you’ve passed the initial private applicator’s exam, continuing education is required to maintain that license.
“We use those recertification courses for opportunities to bring about technological innovations in cropping systems, technological innovations in products, and/or legislative updates.”
I’m Kailey Carey, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.