Hey guys how much will this benifit me

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by bigw, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I am pretty much a startup too, BigW. My business model is a bit different than most are, I think. The big LCO's around here are charging 20 to 24 a cut for 3 and 4k properties. Most do apps, but pretty ineffectively, and likely ilegally too. They do volume, and whack away with hedge trimmers and never fix serious problems like bad nut sedge outbreaks.

    I figured the only way to compete was to get a lot smarter about total property management, and offer an overall higher quality of service. That meant getting not only getting certified for pesticides, but to also begin advancing my overall horticultural knowledge and ability to diagnose and correct problems much better than they can.

    So, I offer a free soil pH test, with the promise if they don't need lime, they won't get it. Weekly scouting with a hand held magnifier to prevent problems before they become unmanagable and damage or kill turf and ornamental plantings. Correcting their bad turf watering habits. Only using pesticides after other control options have been considered and either been ineffective or too late to employ.

    I think it's a great idea to get certified if you can find the time. You might be a bit too busy right now, because it does take a pretty big time investment in the northeast. I took a 30 hour course, and have put in about 80 hours of study time and I'm still worried about my test on Jan 29. I got weevils, mites, beetles fungi, nematodes, grubs, larvea, flies and diseases coming out of my ears. I wish I had another week for more study.

    I know you've been canvassing.... has it come up at all? In my area, it seems only the price shoppers want mow and blow servcie, most others want full ferts and controls too. If you havent started yet, you can't get certified (most likely) in time for the pre-emergent app time in PA. It might pay to wait until next year. It will cost me about $1000 to get my tech certification. That includes the NYS business registration to apply pesticides. Costs may be different in PA.

    Being certified is a big part of my sales pitch and my business plan. It's a good tool to have, but it does make your life more complicated. The record keeping and storage laws are a pita. DEC audits can be rough from what I hear. Don't know if this helps you at all....
  2. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    helps alot and am debating right now what to do,if i study hard enough i can take the test at the end of feb.A license here is something like 35.00 a year or better yet here....Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Fees
    $50 Core Exam
    $10 Category Exam (per exam)
    $35 Business License (commercial and public, annual fee due 12/31)
    $40 Commercial Applicator Renewal (annual fee due 9/30)
    $30 Commercial Registered Technician (annual fee due 2/28)
    $10 Public Applicator Renewal (triennial fee due 9/30)
    $20 Public Registered Technician (annual fee due 2/28)
    $10 Private Applicator Renewal (triennial fee due 3/31)

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