Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training
Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University
New training will help farmers get more for less--increase crop yields while using less fertilizer--which is good news for the watersheds too.
Since September 2014, The Ohio State University has provided fertilizer applicator certification training to more than 6496 Ohio growers responsible for farming more than1 million acres of Buckeye State farmland, and the numbers are still going up.
Taught by faculty and staff of Ohio State University Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Program, the training is designed to help farmers increase crop yields using less fertilizer more efficiently, thus reducing the potential for phosphorus runoff into the state’s watersheds.
The training fulfills the education requirements of the state’s new agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification program, which requires farmers who apply fertilizer to more than 50 acres of farmland to become certified with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
The training is part of the college’s goal to improve the state’s water quality by informing growers how to lessen the use of phosphorus and keep more of it on the field, while increasing crop yields and boosting farm profits, LaBarge said. In the end, the goal of the training is to keep nutrient runoff from fertilizers, especially phosphorus, out of the Ohio waters.
The training was developed by Ohio State researchers and educators to provide research-based tactics that keep nutrients in the field and available to crops, while increasing stewardship of nearby water resources. It focuses on teaching farmers the methods and management techniques to have the appropriate rate, timing, placement, and source for fertilizer applications.
The End Result
Research-based tips for farmers to keep nutrients in the field and available to crops, while increasing stewardship of nearby water resources.
Upcoming certification training program classes for farmers are listed at nutrienteducation.osu.edu.