Meetings prepare farmers for agricultural fertilizer regulation

June 15, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Extension is teaming up with the Office of Indiana State Chemist and Indiana Farm Bureau to help farmers beat the Jan. 1 deadline for complying with a state fertilizer regulation.

Extension specialists and educators will conduct training sessions about, and OISC representatives will administer certification exams for, Category 14 fertilizer material applicators and distributors at locations throughout Indiana this summer, said Fred Whitford, coordinator of Purdue Pesticide Programs and a training instructor.

"We're going out into the state to provide these training and exam opportunities for growers to make it easier for them to come into compliance," Whitford said. "There's no fee to register. We're trying to make it as painless as possible."

Category 14 was created by legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2009. The law requires farmers handling manure from confined feeding operations to be certified through the state chemist's office. CFOs are livestock facilities that house at least 300 cattle or 600 swine or sheep, or 30,000 fowl, such as chickens, turkeys or other poultry.

The fertilizer rule applies to those who use or transport in excess of 10 cubic yards, or 4,000 gallons, of manure originating from a CFO per year. This includes farmers who apply manure from a CFO to their land.

"This certification program is intended to make sure we understand the process of applying manure, and that we apply it in a way that helps us produce a better crop and keeps it out of water," Whitford said.

At nine sites across Indiana, Purdue Extension will host three-hour training sessions on safe and effective fertilizer material handling and application practices, followed by a 90-minute certification exam. Two exam-only dates also are scheduled. Advance registration is required in all cases. Participants must bring a government-issued ID and also should bring a calculator to the training/exam events.

Dates, times, locations and registration/enrollment information for the training/exam sessions include:

* July 26, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern, Beck Agricultural Center, Purdue Agronomy Center for Research and Education, 4540 U.S. 52 W., West Lafayette. To register, call 765-474-0793. Enrollment limited to 60 people.

* July 26, 1-5:30 p.m. Central, Jasper County Fairgrounds, 2671 W. Clark St., Rensselaer. To register, call 219-866-5741. Enrollment limited to 100 people.

* Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern, Wabash County REMC, 350 Wedcor, Wabash. To register, call 260-563-0661 ext. 246. Enrollment limited to 100 people.

* Aug. 5, 2-6:30 p.m. Eastern, Randolph County Fairgrounds, 1885 S. U.S. 27, Winchester. To register, call 765-584-2271. Enrollment limited to 100 people.

* Aug. 15, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern, Decatur County Fairgrounds, 1645 N. Park Road, Greensburg. To register, call 812-663-8388. Enrollment limited to 100 people.

* Aug. 18, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern, Washington County Cornerstone Hall, 170 N. Jim Day Road, Salem. To register, call 812-883-4601. Enrollment limited to 100 people.

* Aug. 18, 3-7:30 p.m. Eastern, Dubois County Fairgrounds, 4157 S. Indiana 162, Huntingburg. To register, call 812-482-1782. Enrollment limited to 100 people.

* Sept. 9, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern, Olive Township Public Library, 408 S. Bray St., New Carlisle. To register, call 574-235-9604. Enrollment limited to 40 people.

* Sept. 9, 2-6:30 p.m. Eastern, Elkhart County Fairgrounds Ag Hall Building, 17746 County Road 34, Goshen. To register, call 574-533-0554. Enrollment limited to 100 people.

Exam-only dates include:

* Sept. 15, 2-4 p.m. Eastern, Wells County Community Center, 1240 4-H Park Road, Bluffton. To register, call 260-824-6412 or by email at

* Dec. 16, 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Clinton County Fairgrounds, Fairground Street, Frankfort. To register, call 765-659-6380 or 765-296-3511 or email  by Dec. 12.

To download the Category 14 training manual or for more information about the training and exam sessions, visit the Purdue Pesticide Programs website at  or contact a county office of Purdue Extension.

Writer: Steve Leer, 765-494-8415,

Source: Fred Whitford, 765-494-1284,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
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