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Old 09-03-2003, 01:11 PM
Dchall_San_Antonio Dchall_San_Antonio is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 330
What is the purpose of applicator's licensing?

I know the title of this one will generate a lot of lookers. I don't want to sound naive, but this question becomes an issue for all professionals when selling organic products to your clients.

Maybe I am naive, but to me the purpose of the law is to protect the environment from the overapplication of poisons. Are there other reasons for the law? This is a serious question.

Because here's the issue with organics. The way the organic program works is to build up a soil and plant population of beneficial microbes. Inside the soil and outside on the plant surfaces are tens of thousands of species of microbes both beneficial and pathogenic. When the soil contains adequate amounts of sugar and protein, the beneficial microbes will outperform the pathogens leading to all forms of good plant health similar to when chemical fertilizers and pesticides are applied. So does the simple application of sugar and protein to the soil surface constitute the application of a pesticide? It sometimes has the same effect.

Allow me to get specific. Ordinary corn meal, when used at 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet, is a great organic microbial food. When it is applied to the surface of the soil, the microbes start their digestion process and eventually a fantastic plant food is produced which the roots take up and turns plants dark green - just like nitrogen fertilizer! Corn meal also highly encourages anti-fungal microbes when used at the same rates - just like a fungicide. Is that a problem for applicators? Here's another example: corn GLUTEN meal is a superior organic fertilizer at 10 pounds per 1,000, but when used at 30-40 pounds per 1,000 also has preemergent herbicide qualities. Is that a problem?

Both products are safe to eat in large quantities on a daily basis for entire lifetimes. So when, if ever, do you need an applicator's license to apply corn meal and corn GLUTEN meal?

If the purpose of the law is to protect the environment from poisons, these organics are not poisons. Do we need the protection of licensing to keep us from non poisons? This gets back to the reason for the law. If it is for more than protection of the environment, I would like to know.
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