Pesticide / Fertilizer Certification and Schedule building

ggb6259

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
USA
Looking at a couple of different things. Relatively new to fertilizers/weed control and pesticides. Located in Michigan, cold season lawns and I've been looking for two things-

First is a application schedule and recommended products.
I have found several articles and different sites with recommendations but looking for experienced folks to provide some advice.

Second in the Great Lakes area where can I go for training /certification in the afore mentioned lawn products. I saw MSU used to have a class but don't see that after 2017.

Appreciated
 

kemco

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Memphis TN
^^^ this. I was advised to talk to a chemical dealer (BWI) in town when I first got started. Been an invaluable help. I literally told him I'm new I don't want to screw up, but what are your big companies using because that's what I want to compete with. Heck my rep he created my original 7 round spray program I have to admit. Since then I've tweaked it immensely and doesn't look anything like what I started with but that's after learning a lot over the last 5/6 years.
 
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ggb6259

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
USA
Thankyou. I found some other links so I have to do the reading and reaching out now...
 

The Swamp Fox

LawnSite Member
Location
Michigan
Looking at a couple of different things. Relatively new to fertilizers/weed control and pesticides. Located in Michigan, cold season lawns and I've been looking for two things-

First is a application schedule and recommended products.
I have found several articles and different sites with recommendations but looking for experienced folks to provide some advice.

Second in the Great Lakes area where can I go for training /certification in the afore mentioned lawn products. I saw MSU used to have a class but don't see that after 2017.

Appreciated
I'm new to the game myself, so I can't help regarding recommended application schedule or products. But I've had/have similar questions regarding fertilization and pesticide training / certification / licensing requirements, since I too am located in Michigan. Below is some information on the topic which I managed to find in the course of my own research which you may find helpful.

Fertilization Licensing Requirements
The MDARD fertilization licensing requirements appear to indicate that no fertilizer-specific licensing is required for non-agricultural applications. I believe that in our case, the specialty (non-farm use) definition applies.

Watch out for combination products containing both fertilizer and herbicide / pesticide, like typical Weed & Feed. This would be subject to the far more involved and regulated pesticide licensing and certification requirements (see below).

Pesticide / Herbicide Licensing Requirements
Pesticide applications appear to be far more regulated than are those governing fertilization. From what I've gathered, in Michigan there are two different requirements to become properly licensed and certified for pesticide applications:
  1. MDARD certification requirements simply involve passing two closed-book exams and paying a certification fee. This certification authorizes you to legally apply pesticides, but there's an additional licensing requirement as well:

    1. "In becoming certified/registered you are eligible to apply pesticides as part of your employment. However, your certification/registration does not allow you to legally operate a business where you apply pesticides for hire. In addition to pesticide applicator credentials, a pesticide application business license is also required to apply pesticides for hire."

  2. On the surface, MDARD pesticide application business licensing requirements simply require becoming a certified applicator (or have one in your employment) and providing proof of adequate liability insurance. But if you dig a little deeper into the Experience Requirements, the bar is actually much higher:

    1. "Commercial applicator's required to be licensed by Sec. 8313(1) shall be certified under section 8312 and shall have at least 1 of the following in order to qualify for a license under this section:

      a. Service for not less than 2 application seasons as an employee of a commercial applicator, or comparable education and experience as determined by the director.

      b. A baccalaureate degree from a recognized college or university in a discipline that provides education regarding pests and the control of pests, and 1 application season of service as an employee of a commercial applicator.

      As a new applicant, prior to consideration of a commercial pesticide applicator's license you may call or submit your experience requirements for tentative approval.

      This information must be supplied at the time of application, on the Notarized Letter of Experience Form, signed by the person with the qualifying experience, and NOTARIZED by a Notary Public."
Others have reported that there are some ways to work around the 2-years-of-experience requirement, one of which is to hire a pesticide-certified employee possessing the requisite experience, who can then be used to license the business.

Keep us posted on how things shake out for you. I have no current plans to pursue obtaining pesticide certification / licensing, but would like to know what hoops are required to jump through all the same. Best of luck!
 
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ggb6259

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
USA
Saw this as well and am sitting this out for now.
 

kemco

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Memphis TN
In TN there are 2 prior "education" routes you could use. I used one, had to take a bunch of ce credits as well before I could proceed. But it got me in. Might want to see if they have something similar.
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Call the dept of ag. Talk with the regulatory people.They are sometimes flexible regarding the experience requirement.
Convince them to accept lots of education.
The law was writtten to protect tergren--reduce the number of former employees to start on their own.
 

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