Pesticide applicators should double-check whether they have obtained enough continuing education units for the year, according to experts with two state agencies.
“Now is the time to check, especially if an applicator is on his or her third year of certification and did not obtain any CEUs in 2020,” said Kevin Shelton, Oklahoma State University Extension pesticide coordinator. “Many of the scheduled meetings and conferences that typically provide CEU credit were cancelled this year because of the coronavirus.”
Applicators have three primary concerns:
- How many CEUs they need.
- How many they have.
- When they need them to comply with Oklahoma law.
The number of CEUs required for a full five-year certification cycle and the maximum number that can be earned in a single year is based on pesticide categories. To ensure continuing education, the total number of credited units required for any specific category must be obtained in at least three years of the five-year cycle. Earned CEUs may be credited to more than one category. CEUs cannot be carried over from one cycle to the next.
Much of the needed information relative to specific pesticide categories is available online through OSU Extension. Additional applicator information is available through the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry pesticide webpage. ODAFF serves as the applicable regulatory agency for Oklahoma.
“Even at this late date, commercial applicators still have options available to obtain CEUs online,” said Kenny Naylor, ODAFF Consumer Protection Services director. “Be aware that our primary course website will only provide information about available online CEU courses. Applicators will be directed to a course-specific website from there.”
Oklahoma pesticide categories available for recertification in 2020 are seed treatment, aquatic and fumigation. For 2021, the categories will be bird and vertebrate animal pests, predatory animal, pressure facility, groundline utility pole, antimicrobial, metam-sodium and cooling towers.
OSU Extension is one of two state agencies administered by the university’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and is a key part of OSU’s state and federally mandated teaching, research and Extension land-grant mission.