If you apply fertilizer commercially, you now must acquire certification. It's part of a new law which just went into effect in Indiana. Persons in charge at the Indiana Office of the State Chemist say that While commercial farmers applying fertilizer on their own land are not affected and do not need a new fertilizer applicator's license, people employed by a commercial dealership who spread fertilizer do fall under the law.
The new program is patterned after the pesticide applicator licensing system which has been in effect for roughly three decades or more in Indiana already. Initially, the person seeking the license takes a test. From that point forward, he renews his license and keeps it current by taking courses offered locally that qualify for credit for continuing education that applies toward license renewal.
The one exception where farmers may need to obtain the license is if they apply manure, even if they buy it from their neighbors. The new law states that any person applying manure from a Confined Feeding Operation on property that they own or manage must be certified as a Category 14 private applicator. All certification is handled by the Office of the Indiana a State Chemist, housed at Purdue University.
Regulatory functions in most states fall under the jurisdiction of the state department of agriculture. However, when Indiana's first department of agriculture was created in 2005, regulatory functions were allowed to remain in cooperation with Purdue University. This frees up the ISDA staff to promote agriculture and seek additional opportunities to grow agriculture within Indiana.
Even if the manure comes from a CFO-size facility out-of-state, you must comply. That feature was added because of speculation that Ohio farmers were bringing manure into Indiana to escape tougher rules coming at them for manure regulation in Ohio.
If you apply less than 4,000 gallons of manure or less than 10 cubic yards, you don't have to be certified. And both at the commercial fertilizer plant and on the large CFO farm, if one person is trained, he is legally allowed to train and monitor up to 10 additional people in the same operation.Check with your local Purdue Extension office about how you can become certified if you need such a license.