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News2018-10-24T16:33:42+00:00
2404, 2020

Pesticide Applicator Self-Service Site Now Available From IDALS

By |April 24th, 2020|Categories: Featured, News|Tags: , , , |

Pesticide Applicator Self-Service Site Now Available From IDALS

Pesticide applicators and licensed businesses have a new way to apply for their certification, pay fees, and check on their status. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) has launched a self-service portal for pesticide applicators meant to streamline the certification process.

First-time users will need to register to use the online site. Once registered, users can check on their status, pay fees, and retrieve certification numbers. The site also works for licensed businesses and private applicators.

Additionally, for new applicators who will be working for a licensed business under the supervision of a certified applicator and need to take the private applicator test as the workaround during the COVID-19 pandemic, registration, and payment of fees can be done directly from the portal. A successfully completed test immediately provides a certified applicator number.

The self-service portal uses each pesticide applicator’s unique certification number to match their application and payment to their training and testing history.

To apply for a new or renew an existing pesticide applicator license, individuals will use their certification number to log-in to the self-service portal. The licensee can submit their application, test results, and payment online.

Once in-person testing resumes, proctored test locations will use each applicator’s unique certification number when uploading the test results to the self-service portal. The portal will link the user’s training and testing information to the application and payment records stored in the online system.

Once the application, payment, training, and testing information are received, the licenses and certifications will be processed and sent directly to the applicant.

By moving the process online, individual pesticide applicators can access their records anytime by logging into the self-service portal. The system also has a public search function that empowers customers and employers to verify that their pesticide applicators are licensed to work in the state of Iowa.

Questions about the self-service site can be directed to the Pesticide Bureau via email pesticides@iowaagriculture.gov.

704, 2020

Next Steps for Pesticide Applicators

By |April 7th, 2020|Categories: Featured, News|Tags: , , |

Next Steps for Pesticide Applicators

We received updated information about the priorities of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) concerning pesticide applicators. Both the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and the Governor has been working with us to find solutions and we appreciate the priority they have placed on keeping the food system as uninterrupted as possible. Their efforts to keep agriculture running in these unprecedented times is greatly appreciated.

We are aware of the difficulty the industry is facing with the lack of certified applicator numbers in the face of needing to apply restricted-use pesticides such as dicamba. This continues to be an ongoing conversation and a high priority.

IDALS has shared with us they are working through regulatory relief to address pesticide applicator issues related to COVID-19 in a step-by-step process:

  • The first step was to provide immediate options for those applicators who were certified as of Dec. 31, 2019.
  • Provide options that address the cancellation of in-person testing sites for commercial and private applicator certification due to public health recommendations.
  • Work with EPA and the Governor’s office to address other pesticide-related regulatory issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below are questions IDALS has been receiving and the department’s answers to those questions.

Q&A – Answered by IDALS; Pesticide Applicator Certification

1) Once an applicator has his/her private applicator certification, can they apply dicamba and paraquat?

All applicators must follow pesticide label directions. We are in constant communication with EPA regarding pesticide label statements for these products and have requested clarification from EPA on the requirements of the federal label as they pertain to the distinction of ‘use’ by private vs. commercial applicators. However, there has been no change to label requirements granted thus far.

A) Do they receive their applicator license number at that point? I have heard applicators need to input that number when they apply chemicals like dicamba.

Applicators will be able to get their certified applicator number and pesticide company license number through the online pesticide portal.
These recent challenges have slowed the processing of paper submissions. Processing of paper submissions for private pesticide certifications is very close to being caught up and available through the online pesticide portal. There continues to be a delay in processing paper submissions for commercial applicator certifications and the team is working to complete them as soon as possible.

B) If they don’t receive their applicator number online (after they’ve paid for a license), is there a way they can continue to utilize those chemicals while waiting?

No, the applicator must follow all product label requirements. Dicamba and paraquat labels require a completed certification and applicator number.

2) After the proclamation expires, will there be any kind of grace period for the new commercial applicators that haven’t yet been able to take their in-person tests?

The regulatory relief only applies through the duration of the proclamation and any extensions. We recognize this as a potential issue and are in constant communication with the Governor’s office. We will work with her team to look for solutions to help ease the transition.

3) Can a person who already has a private applicator license go to work as a commercial applicator for an ag retailer only during this declaration period?

Yes, the provisions of the general supervision requirements apply to all private certified applicators. This includes all current private certified applicators, new private certified applicators, and private certified applicators who were certified as of 12/31/19. This regulatory relief only applies through the duration of this proclamation and any further extensions.

4) Is there any additional regulatory relief for aerial applicators since the commercial applicator waiver doesn’t apply to them?

Not at this time. Aerial applicators requirements go beyond the agricultural pesticide applicator categories (1A, 1B, 1C, 1D) and are outlined in a separate category (11), which means the standards of competency for aerial applicators are different than those of agricultural categories.

Continuing Communication

Restricted use pesticides add an additional layer of complication because it involves federal rules. We will continue to work with IDALS to get pesticide applicator issues handled so you can fill the critical need to keep the food supply functioning in the state and the country.

604, 2020

IDALS Offering More Options to Help Pesticide Applicators Get Certified

By |April 6th, 2020|Categories: Featured, News|Tags: , , |

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Offering More Options to Help Pesticide Applicators Get Certified

Governor Reynolds extended the end date of the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration to April 30, 2020. As part of that decision, additional declaration language was added regarding commercial pesticide applicators who are not currently certified.

The declaration provides an opportunity for companies to hire new applicators during the Emergency Declaration period using the private applicator exam. See the full press release from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship for details.

We have been working diligently with Governor Reynolds and Secretary Naig on the commercial pesticide applicator certification issue.

We would like to thank the Governor and Secretary for their leadership in providing a solution in these difficult circumstances and continuing to recognize it is in the vital interest of the state and the country that the food production system in the United States remains as uninterrupted as possible.

Additional Information

The COVID-19 pandemic has created delays in processing and mailing pesticide applicator cards and certifications. Applicators can view the status of their certifications on the Department’s public search portal.

For more information, contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Pesticide Bureau at pesticides@iowaagriculture.gov or 515-281-8591.

2703, 2020

Federal Agencies Provide Guidance to Researchers in Response to COVID-19

By |March 27th, 2020|Categories: Featured, Good Advice, News|Tags: , , |

Federal Agencies Provide Guidance to Researchers in Response to COVID-19

Due to the disruptions arising from the national response to COVID-19, multiple federal agencies are making adjustments to their procedures, including extending deadlines for grant solicitations. USDA NIFA has extended deadlines for several solicitations. NSF has released FAQ documents on grant deadlines, travel, and review panelists. NSF has also released a Dear Colleague letter soliciting proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical-care research on the transmission, prevention, and communication of COVID-19. The DOE-Office of Science has issued an extension for grant applications and further instructions on progress reports and travel. The DOE also launched a task force that will coordinate its resources to study coronavirus and other public health issues.

Federal Agencies Respond to COVID-19

The national response to COVID-19 is impacting every aspect of American lives, including the scientific enterprise. Many federal research agencies have issued guidance for researchers with regard to grant submission deadlines, travel, and review panels. View ASA Resource Website.

303, 2020

2020 International CCA of the Year: Heart In Soil Health

By |March 3rd, 2020|Categories: Featured, Good Advice, News|Tags: , |

During the 2020 Commodity Classic and American Society of Agronomy (ASA) Annual Meeting, 2019 Iowa Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) of the Year, Adam Kramer was named the International CCA of the Year.

Adam Kramer is a small business owner in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and Waukon, Iowa farmer, he was awarded the Iowa CCA of the Year during an annual award luncheon at the Agribusiness Showcase & Conference (ASC) on February 12, 2019.

A certified crop adviser utilizes best management practices that protect the environment and lead growers to produce higher yields and increased profitability for their farms. Farmers and employers prefer to work with CCAs because they have demonstrated commitment, education, expertise, and experience to make a difference in a client’s business.

The Iowa Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Award is designed to recognize a CCA who delivers exceptional customer service, is highly innovative, has shown that they are a leader in their field, and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agriculture industry. The Iowa CCA program then nominates the annual Iowa CCA of the Year for the ASA award of International CCA of the Year.

Heart In Soil Health

– by FarmJounal AgPro

It can feel like walking a tight rope as farmers work to improve soil health and yields simultaneously. And on that trajectory, consultant Adam Kramer aims to meet farmers where they are on their journey—be a bit of a stabilizing and encouraging force.

“The first thing I do when starting to work with a farmer is go to their fields, do an assessment, see what their capabilities are, and talk about their goals,” Kramer says. “And it’s important to see through the producer’s eyes what is happening in the field, so we can put together the right practices.”

His commitment to focusing on the farmer-led Kramer to being named the 2020 International Certified Crop Adviser of the Year.

 

Kramer’s business, Black Sand Granary, offers soil testing, data management, cover crop consulting, and equipment retrofits. He’s been self-employed since graduating with an agronomy degree from Iowa State University, and his consulting is based in southwest Wisconsin, along with some acreage he farmers in northern Iowa and uses as a demonstration farm. His consulting is focused on soil health with an eye on short-term and long-term impacts on profitability.

“You don’t change 1,000 acres at a time, you try things a bit at a time,” he says. “We’ve been on some of the same farms since 2006. On every farm, we soil test, run data for cropping plans, and serve as another set of eyes for production decisions.”

He says the biggest part of being a crop consultant is just the drive to want to help people.

“It’s about helping farmers mitigate risks while raising top-end yields—and doing it in a profitable way,” he says. “And it gets really exciting when they cross one threshold, master a skill, and then they are already looking for the next thing to do better. The farmers do all the work; as an adviser, I’m challenging them to do what they are capable of.”

Kramer has a natural curiosity about challenging assumptions about the status quo, and he has a deep respect for the environment. Intertwined, those have fueled a lot of ideas he’s tried and shared with farmers.
“I’m always trying to get lean, find efficiencies,” he says.

As an example, the equipment part of his consulting includes rebuilding planters and drills for no-till and cover crops.

That system has shown increased water infiltration, improved organic matter, and reduced tillage and horsepower requirements for the farming operation.

When reflecting on his career and this award, Kramer gives credit to his wife Kellie, employees and partners at Black Sand Granary, and all of the academic mentors he had at Iowa State.

As the recipient, Kramer received hotel and travel expenses to the 2020 Commodity Classic and American Society of Agronomy Annual Meeting, a $2,000 honorarium, a commemorative plaque, and a one-year membership in the American Society of Agronomy.

2802, 2020

Bockenstedt Named 2020 Iowa Certified Crop Adviser of the Year

By |February 28th, 2020|Categories: Featured, News|

Des Moines, IA – The Iowa Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) has named Terry Bockenstedt, a crop consultant with Nutrien Ag Solutions from Dyersville, 2020 Iowa CCA of the Year. He accepted this annual award during the Iowa CCA recognition luncheon at the Agribusiness Showcase & Conference (ASC) on February 11, 2020.

 

Iowa Certified Crop Adviser board chairman, Dan Eklund (left), presents Terry Brockenstedt (right) of Dyersville with the 2020 Iowa CCA of the Year award and his 25 years of service plaque during an awards luncheon on February 11, 2020.

A certified crop adviser utilizes best management practices that protect the environment and lead growers to produce higher yields and increase profitability for their farms. Farmers and employers prefer to work with CCAs because they have demonstrated commitment, education, expertise, and experience to make a difference in a client’s business.

The Iowa Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Award is designed to recognize a CCA who delivers exceptional customer service, is highly innovative, has shown they are a leader in their field and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agriculture industry.

Bockenstedt grew up on a farm just southeast of Petersburg, Iowa, in Delaware County, and graduated from Western Dubuque High School in Epworth, Iowa, in 1971. He started working for Crop Production Services, now Nutrien, in northeast Iowa in 1974. He has always had an eye on environmentally and economically sound practices. Due to the northeastern Iowa terrain, he is committed to advising his growers to place fertilizer where needed to promote stewardship of the land and environment. He was one of the first in the area to begin using grid sampling and variable rate technology for spreading fertilizer and believes that CCAs have a responsibility to do what is right for the grower and the future of agriculture’s stewardship of the land.

Brockenstedt has earned the Environmental Respect Award from Crop Life Magazine for the first time at a Dyersville, Iowa, location in 2006, and a second time at a Worthington, Iowa, location in 2008. The past four years, he has been working extensively with vineyard growers in Iowa, demonstrating his commitment to helping growers. Nominated by his peers, he was awarded the Outstanding Industry Partner Award in 2019 from the Iowa Wine Growers Association.

Not only is Brockenstedt committed to his growers, but he is also committed to his company. Over the years, he has mentored managers at other Nutrien locations and even working with college interns during the summer at many the Nebraska and Iowa locations.

Currently, he is a board member of the Local Emergency Planning Committee for Dubuque County. He and his wife, Gloria, currently live in Dyersville.

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