2110, 2020

Webinar – Introduction to the Iowa CCA Program

By |October 21st, 2020|Categories: Education, Featured, News|

Webinar – Introduction to the Iowa CCA Program

A webinar was recently held to introduce college age students to the Iowa Certified Crop Advisor Program. The presentation was recorded and is now available online for anyone interested in learning more about how to become a CCA and the value CCAs bring to businesses and farmers.

Click Here to watch the webinar.

610, 2020

CEU Requirements and Opportunities Guide

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

A Guide To CEUS and Continuing Education Opportunities

A reference guide for CCAs to use to understand the different criteria for maintaining the CCA certification and various options for obtaining Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) is now available from the Iowa CCA Program.

Included in the document is information about the specific requirements needed to maintain CCA certification, including the time frames and details of CEUs. Also included are a variety of different activities that qualify for CEUs as well as information about specialty certification and other useful links and reference material.

Download the guide here:

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 [email protected].

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 [email protected] 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.