Confinement site manure applicators in Iowa who have not yet attended training in 2008 have until Dec. 31 to complete training requirements. More than 200 confinement site manure applicators are being reminded to attend training before the end of the year so they can avoid taking a make-up exam in 2009.
Confinement site manure applicators are required to attend two hours of training annually to maintain their manure applicator certification, or to take and pass an exam once every three years. Applicators who miss a year of training during the three-year certification, are required to take a remedial exam to be eligible to recertify for the next three-year period.
There's still time for confinement site applicators to attend required training before the end of the year and avoid taking a make-up exam in 2009.
Avoid having to take make-up exam in 2009
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources Licensing Bureau estimates that 230 confinement site applicators still need to meet training requirements in 2008 to avoid the remedial exam in 2009.
"It is possible that some of these applicators are currently not operating or they have hired commercial applicators to haul manure," says Jeff Prier, a field specialist with the Iowa DNR. "But we want them to have every opportunity to meet their training requirements if they are still operating."
Both remedial and certification exams are offered at DNR field offices. Applicators who fail to get the required training this year would have to pass the remedial exam, then take a second exam on a different date or attend a training workshop to become certified for the next three-year period.
Manure has become valuable commodity
"We are seeing an increase in the number of people meeting certification requirements this year," says Angie Rieck-Hinz, an Iowa State University Extension program specialist. "This is probably because manure has become a valuable commodity. I want to remind folks that anyone who handles, transports and land-applies manure from confinement site facilities that have required manure management plans must be certified - even the crop producers."
Farmers who do not own livestock but who haul from a confinement facility with more than 500 animal units and land apply manure to their own fields must also be certified as a confinement site manure applicator. Commercial manure applicators are also reminded they must meet certification requirements.
To become certified, commercial and confinement site applicators should schedule an appointment with their ISU Extension county office to watch a videotape or contact their regional DNR field office to schedule the certification exam. Due to scheduling conflicts, many Extension offices will no longer accept walk-in appointments to watch the tapes. Applicators must also submit the appropriate forms and fees to Iowa DNR to complete certification.
For more information about manure applicator certification requirements call your county Extension office, visit the Manure Applicator Certification Web page at www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/mac.html or call your DNR field office.