COLUMBUS – Farmers who apply fertilizer on more than 50 acres are being encouraged to obtain their fertilizer applicator certification before this year’s planting season. The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) is asking farmers to attend a training session being conducted by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Certification is administered and issued by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Early certification for farmers is one of the goals of OFBF’s million dollar Water Quality Action Plan.
“Ohio farmers are natural stewards of soil and water and we all know we play an important role in protecting Ohio’s water,” said Steve Hirsch, Ohio Farm Bureau President. “Through this fertilizer training and certification process, farmers are implementing new methods and technologies to produce good and abundant food while maintaining safe water for all Ohioans.”
Thousands of farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin and across the state have already obtained their fertilizer applicator certificates and are working to keep fertilizer from getting into lakes and waterways. The Farm Bureau is also encouraging farmers to adopt and develop nutrient management plans to use the right fertilizer source at the right rate, at the right time and at the right place.
With the passage of Senate Bill 150 in 2014, Ohio became the first state to require anybody who applies commercial fertilizer to more than 50 acres for agricultural purposes to be certified no later than Sept. 30, 2017. Applying fertilizer without certification could result in fines and/or misdemeanor charges.
In Fulton County, an upcoming training will be held at the OSU Extension, 8770 State Route 108, Wauseon, from 6-9 p.m. on April 5.
For future training dates and locations, visit www.ofb.ag/FertCertification or call 614-292-4070 for more information.