We are still getting a lot of questions about Fertilizer Certification from farmers. Yes, this new regulation applies to you. You, being almost every farmer in Ohio. You have until September 30, 2017 to become certified to apply fertilizer.
While there are exceptions, most of these exceptions would only apply to a very small farmer such as one who has 50 acres or less. This site gives more details on the legal issues: http://aglaw.osu.edu/blog-categories/environmental.
For the purposes of this Training, “fertilizer” means anything with an N-P-K analysis — meaning yes this includes nitrogen if the co-op applies everything else and you only apply sidedress N. And if you take manure from a concentrated animal feeding facility — a great opportunity by the way — then yes you too need to be certified to apply that manure.
Record keeping requirements start when you receive you yellow Fertilizer Applicator Certificate. Within 24 hours of any nutrient application, you must record:
- Name of fertilizer certificate holder
- Name of applicator working under direct supervision of certificate holder (if any)
- Date of application
- Location (field ID, farm)
- Fertilizer analysis (such as 11-52-0)
- Rate of fertilizer application (lbs/A) and total amount applied
- Fertilizer application method (surface-applied, incorporated, etc)
- Soil conditions
- For surface applications only: is ground frozen or snow covered?
- Temperature and precipitation during application
- Weather forecast for day following application.
And you must keep those records of your nutrient application for three years. One very good place to get and print off weather records and a forecast is http://weather.gov.
To find a program for this month – check at http://nutrienteducation.osu.edu. At this same website you may also get more information on the education program Ohio State University delivers and some clarification on the regulations from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.