Montana State University

Pesticide training set for October in south-central Montana

July 25, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN - Experts on Montana insects, pesticides, rodents and weeds will present half-day and all-day workshops from Oct. 8 to 11 to help residents of 11 south-central Montana counties renew their private pesticide applicator licenses before the end of the year.

Individuals who wish to purchase, use or supervise the use of restricted use pesticides on land they own, rent or lease need a private applicator license. Private applicators in Big Horn, Carbon, Fergus, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, Musselshell, Petroleum, Stillwater, Sweetgrass, Wheatland and Yellowstone counties need to recertify by the end of 2012, said Cecil Tharp, Pesticide Education specialist with Montana State University Extension. Those 11 counties lie within Montana Private Pesticide District number five.

To help private applicators recertify before their licenses expire, the MSU Pesticide Safety Education and MSU Integrated Pest Management programs will hold seven meetings over four days. The meetings will be held Oct. 8 in Harlowton and Lewistown; Oct. 9 in Big Timber and Columbus; Oct. 10 in Hardin and Lame Deer; and Oct. 11 in Billings

All of the workshops will focus on pest management, but topics within those workshops may vary according to need. Rodent control, for example, is covered in Big Timber, Billings and Columbus, while wireworms are covered in Columbus, Hardin and Lewistown. Sessions in Billings, Harlowton, Big Timber and Lame Deer address grasshopper management and many other topics.

Other workshop topics may include cheatgrass management in croplands, insect management in a forage alfalfa system, re-vegetating weed-infested range and pasture, cheatgrass, vertebrate pest control, pesticide safety, management of winter insect pests on livestock, Roundup-resistant Kochia, pesticide drift, and mode of action.

South-central Montanans can attend workshops in any of the 11 counties in their district. They don't have to attend the workshop offered in their county, Tharp said. A variety of MSU experts and MSU Extension specialists and agents will conduct the training sessions.

Private applicators will receive three credits for attending either the morning or afternoon session and six credits if they attend all day. Government and commercial applicators who attend either a morning or afternoon session will be qualified to receive three commercial/government applicator credits towards the categories of dealer, demonstration and research, and agricultural plant pest control.

Montana has five private pesticide districts, with applicator licenses expiring in stages. The private applicator license certification cycle lasts five years.

Courses in the 2012 Pest Management Tour are open to the public and any applicator who wants to recertify, but pre-registration is often required, especially in locations that offer a free lunch to attendees. Attendees should contact their local Extension agent and pre-register.

For locations, contact information and topics to be covered at each meeting, check the Pesticide Safety Education Program Website at and select the "2012 Pest Management Tour Throughout South-Central MT." For more information, contact Tharp at or (406) 994-5067.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or