BOZEMAN – Experts on pesticides, Montana plant diseases, insects and weeds will present half-day and all-day workshops on Oct. 7 through 9 to help residents of seven northwest 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 Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli and Sanders counties need to requalify by the end of 2013, said Cecil Tharp, pesticide education specialist with Montana State University Extension. Those seven counties lie within Montana Private Pesticide District number one. Private applicators within that district must accumulate six private applicator recertification credits before the Jan. 1, 2014 deadline to qualify for renewal.
To help private applicators recertify before their licenses expire, the MSU Pesticide Safety Education and MSU Integrated Pest Management programs will hold six meetings over three days. The meetings will be held Monday, Oct. 7, in Ronan and Kalispell; Tuesday, Oct. 8, in Plains and Superior; and Wednesday, Oct. 9, in Missoula and Hamilton. The meetings in Plains and Hamilton are free. Attendees there are on their own for lunch. The meeting in Ronan costs $5 with attendees on their own for lunch. The meetings in Kalispell, Missoula and Superior cost $10. Lunch is provided at those three locations.
All of the workshops will focus on pest management, but topics within those workshops may vary according to need. The environmental fate of herbicides, for example, will be covered in Hamilton and Missoula, while pesticide performance and water quality will be discussed in Ronan, Plains and Superior.
Cheatgrass biology, ecology and management in crops will be covered in each meeting. Cheatgrass is a widespread problem throughout Montana, Tharp said, explaining that it’s hard to control for many reasons. One reason is because it’s a grass. It doesn’t respond to many of the well-known and popular broadleaf herbicides.
By attending this program, applicators will understand the pesticide products and cultural control tactics that are available to manage this pest, Tharp said.
Other workshop topics may include insect updates, storage and security of pesticides, plant diseases, and re-vegetating weed-infested range and pasture.
Northwest Montanans can attend workshops in any of the seven counties in their district as long as they pre-register with the county Extension agent, Tharp said. They don’t have to attend the workshop offered in their county. 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 expiration dates staggered by district. The private applicator license certification cycle lasts five years and always ends on Dec. 31 of the fifth year of the cycle. Applicators may view private applicator certification districts and last-minute programs at www.pesticides.montana.edu by selecting “The Private Applicator Program.”
Courses in the 2013 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 exact locations, contact information and topics to be covered at each meeting, check the Pesticide Safety Education Program Website at www.pesticides.montana.edu and select "Northwestern Montana! Pest Management Tour.” For more information, contact Tharp at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 994-5067.
Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or email@example.com