Who Can Legally Spray for the Farm, Nursery, or Greenhouse?

During this period while the Ohio Department of Agriculture has postponed pesticide license testing, many are asking who can legally apply pesticides on the farm.

Growers need a a private pesticide license to apply restricted-use pesticides in agricultural production on their own property, employer’s or rented land. Non-licensed family members or subordinate employees can make applications under the direct supervision of the private applicator under certain circumstances, as long as the pesticide label does not prohibit it.

What does the licensed private applicator need to provide to those working under direct supervision?

  • The private applicator does not have to be present, but must be available if needed during the application
  • Pesticide labels must be at the worksite if licensed applicator not present
  • Personal Protective equipment as required by label

Are there age requirements for unlicensed applicators working under direct supervision ?

  • If a family member, the only restriction is for pesticides with the “Danger – Poison” signal words – the family member must be 18
  • If an employee – they must be 18  (a Worker Protection Standard (WPS) requirement)

What are the training requirements for unlicensed applicators?

  • Subordinate employees must receive WPS handler training annually
  • Family members are exempt from annual WPS handler training (however, if using pesticides that require respirators, there is an annual respirator training requirement under WPS)

What pesticides do not allow direct supervision (may only be applied by a licensed applicator)?

  • Paraquat dichloride
  • Dicamba formulations used over the top of soybeans (Xtendimax, Engenia, FeXapan, and Tavium)
  • Any other pesticide that restricts use to certified (licensed) applicators

Finally, remember that private pesticide applicators are not required to have a license to apply general-use pesticides (which means they are not restricted-use). If a pesticide is restricted-use, that designation appears at the top of the first page of the pesticide label.

see Ohio Code

ORC 921.01 (Q) (2)

ORC 921.11 (A) (1) (d)

OAC 901:5-11-02 (D)  (1-3)

OAC 901:5-11-02 (B)  (3)

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