Crop protection products are essential inputs to most, if not all, individuals involved in production agriculture. However, some of these products are state-limited or restricted use pesticides and require a user to be a licensed applicator before they can be purchased and used. Nueces County and area producers will have the opportunity to complete training to obtain a private applicator license at a program scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 28th at the Johnny Calderon Building on 710 East Main in Robstown.

It is important that individuals interested in obtaining a private applicator license take advantage of this training and testing opportunity, because the process for training and testing will change on June 1st. After June 1st, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and other Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) approved course providers will continue to offer private applicator trainings on a regular basis as needed. However, TDA will no longer provide pesticide inspectors to proctor exams at the conclusion of trainings. TDA has contracted with PSI Services to administer Ag pesticide exams. After June 1st, a trained individual will have to submit their licensing form and fee to TDA and obtain an account number from TDA once the application forms and fee are accepted. They will then use the account number to register and schedule the applicator exam with PSI Services. PSI Services has regional testing centers in Corpus Christi and 21 other urban areas across the state that individuals seeking licenses will then travel to at their scheduled time to take the exam.

However, during the private applicator training on May 28th TDA personnel will offer testing at the training location at the conclusion of the training. Persons who plan to attend the training session are encouraged to pick up the TDA Pesticide Laws and Regulations manual and the Private Applicator Manual at the Extension Office. The total cost for the manuals and training is $50.00. Review and study of these manuals prior to the course will be of great help to those taking the training.

To become a licensed private applicator, the producer must attend a Texas AgriLife Extension Service private applicator training program, make a passing score on the TDA Private Applicator Examination and submit an application to the TDA with a required $60.00 fee. The TDA private applicator license is valid for 5 years.

The private applicator program is available to those persons not previously certified, who will be supervising the application of restricted-use and/or state-limited-use pesticides on private lands for production of an agricultural commodity. Continuous Education Units (CEUs) will not be offered at this event. R.S.V.P. is required. This course is limited to the first 15 participants. Producers having questions or wishing to R.S.V.P. may contact the Nueces County Extension Office at 361.767.5223.