GOSHEN, Ind. — There were some recent revisions to the Indiana pesticide rules that affect applicators, particularly those who apply Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs). These revisions have been in process since 2018, and became a part of the rules in January 2023.
One change involves record keeping. As previously required, all applicators (both private and commercial) using RUPs and all commercial applicators using any pesticide at schools or golf courses or for termite control must keep records of those applications for at least two years. The required record keeping items remain largely unchanged, with the notable addition of a start and stop time for each application
The biggest change, however, is that only fully certified applicators (private and commercial) are allowed to apply Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs). The previous rule was that RUPs could be applied by anyone who was supervised by a private or commercial fully licensed applicator.
Since the changes were announced, I have had several conversations with four farm families. In all these cases, the father holds a Private Applicator’s license, but the son has been doing most of the RUP applications, under the father’s supervision, as is permitted by the old rules. Under the new rule, the son would need to get his own license if the son is to continue to apply RUPs. Likewise, hired help will now be required to be licensed if they have previously been doing RUP applications under the supervision of a license holder.
Commercial applicators using General Use Pesticides (GUPs – products not requiring a license to purchase and apply) will still be required to be fully certified. And those commercial applicators can still supervise noncertified GUP applicators, largely as they have in the past. Commercial applicators supervising for-hire GUP applications may do so by either being physically present at the work site or by ensuring the noncertified applicator is a registered technician.
So, how do you obtain a Private Applicator license? The most popular way to take the exam has been to obtain the training manual for the CORE exam (PPP-13), study the manual at home, and then take the exam at the local Ivy Tech. In Elkhart County, Ivy Tech is located near the intersection of County Roads 17 and 18, south of the US 20 bypass. The study manual can be purchased for $40 plus shipping at https://tinyurl.com/yrjxswt5 or by calling 765 494-6794. Manuals are available in English and Spanish.
Once you receive your manual, go to https://tinyurl.com/5yy5xay6 online or call 1-877-533-2900 to schedule an appointment to take the exam. Leave a message and let them know when the best time is to reach you.
The testing locations do change from time to time. The Ivy Tech campuses in Elkhart, South Bend, and Fort Wayne are currently listed as testing sites. Warsaw’s Ivy Tech is not a testing site at this time. To find current testing locations check https://tinyurl.com/5kb6898w or call 877-533-2900. The test is administered by a company called Metro Institute, and Ivy Tech provides the supervision during the exam.
Everyone taking the exam must show a government-issued photo ID. Contact the Indiana State Chemist at 756-494-1492 for alternative identification, if needed. A person is allowed three attempts to take the exam in 12 months’ time. There is a $55 fee for this exam through Ivy Tech.
For commercial pesticide applicators, there are 18 different categories you can get a license in. These include categories like field crops, lawns, trees and shrubs, termite control, aquatic weeds, aerial applications and wood destroying insects. Commercial applicators must pass the CORE exam first, then pass a second test in your chosen category. For more information about those commercial applicator categories, visit https://ppp.purdue.edu/.
— Jeff Burbrink, Extension Educator, Purdue Extension Elkhart County