‘March Madness’ has arrived


March Madness!

Wow! It really is March Madness! March has come in with gusto in our weather pattern with high to low temperatures, to heavy rains and snows and even tornadoes. Much work is getting completed on farms to prepare for the upcoming planting season, equipment maintenance, supplies ordered and delivered, and education for certifications. It just seems like we have plenty of time during the winter months to accomplish our tasks and then, BOOM, the new crop season is here.

Part of the preparation for the new season is making sure your pesticide and fertilizer certifications are in order. Pesticide recertification courses have been and will continue to be presented across the state until March 31. That is the deadline to have your course completed for Private Pesticide and Fertilizer training. Please make sure you have completed your renewal application and fee. The renewal application and fee are separate from the recertification training and sent to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Clermont County is hosting an in-person recertification session on March 23 beginning at 12:30 p.m. for pesticide and 3:30 p.m. for fertilizer. Please contact 513-732-7070 to register. There are other options that can be found at pested.osu.edu/privaterecertification or by contacting your local county extension office. March 31 is the deadline for recertification and renewal applications.

If you still need to acquire Agriculture Fertilizer Training (3-Hour Training) for your initial certification there still is time. There are three ways to certify: in-person, exam, and live online webinar. This training is to fulfill the three-hour requirement for all new Fertilizer Applicators (Private & Commercial) who need the Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification.

Who needs a Fertilizer Certification: Fertilizer certification is required if you apply fertilizer (other than manure) to more than 50 acres of agricultural production grown primarily for sale. If you have the co-op or other custom applicator, make your fertilizer applications, you do not need the certification.

What will be covered? Best management practices will be the basis of the agricultural fertilizer certification training with a focus on fertilizer applications that have the appropriate rate, timing, placement, and source.

An online webinar training is on March 22 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and you must register at nutrienteducation.osu.edu/trainingopportunities to receive the link and information about the training. An in-person training is located at the Butler County Extension Office in Hamilton, OH on March 28 from 1-4 p.m. Contact 513-887-3722 to register by March 21. The third option is to take an exam to test into the fertilizer certification. This exam is conducted across the state by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The exam is 30 questions and must be passed with a 70% or higher. Study materials can be purchased from your local county extension office. The exam dates and locations can be found at agri.ohio.gov/divisions/plant-health/pesticides/exam-registration.

As we continue to March through this month in preparation for the upcoming planting season, let’s be mindful to keep our personal health at the forefront to keep our agriculture safety intact. Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the U.S affecting a wide demographic. The time change is one of the factors that can cause havoc during March. Losing an hour of sleep is not as easy to bounce back from at any age. Getting a good night’s sleep helps with heart health, clarity, and physical safety. Keeping hydrated with water, not coffee, tea, or pop, is a great way to keep mental and physical health in proper working order. Hydration is important even in the colder months, to help keep our internal thermostat balanced and our blood pumping plus to help minimize that brain fog from too much caffeine. And most important of all, take time for yourself. You are an important part of your family and community, lets keep it that way!

Lastly, “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.” -Dale Carnegie. Be part of on-farm research through eFields and/or eBarns by advancing production agriculture through field-scale research. Contact Elizabeth Hawkins a [email protected] for eFields or Garth Ruff at [email protected] for eBarns or contact your local county extension office.

CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit cfaesdiversity.osu.edu. For an accessible format of this publication, visit cfaes.osu.edu/accessibility.

Gigi Neal is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator at Clermont County.

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