Changes in manure applicator certification program
by Karen Grimes, Department of Natural Resources
A universal expiration date, fee exemptions for family members, and adding fees for late and duplicate certificates are among the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) proposals that will change the manure applicator certification program.
"Were proposing a universal expiration date for manure applicator certificates to make life easier for everyone," said Wayne Gieselman, coordinator of the DNR animal feeding operation program. "Commercial and confinement site manure applicators will find it easier to remember expiration and training dates, and our staff maintains it will be more efficient to process the applications."
December 31 is proposed as the universal expiration date, but producers will have a 60-day grace period so that they can complete their training and send in their application by March 1. Producers and commercial applicators should be thinking about this now, so that they can complete their training before March 1 next year.
During the transition year, the DNR will charge a $25 dollar fee for applicators whose licenses expire between January 1 and June 30 and no additional fee for those applicators whose licenses expire between July 1 and December 31. The change will make the program work more like the pesticide applicator program, a program that farmers are very familiar with, Gieselman said.
Another proposed change will incorporate a new law that allows a fee exemption for family members who are certified under another family members confinement site certification. The fee exemption will be available for a person who is farming the same family farm operation and is a spouse, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, or sibling of the certified confinement site applicator.
To qualify, the applicant must complete the required 2 hours of education each of the 3 years covered by the certificate or pass an examination. He or she also must apply for the certificate within 1 year of when the family member became certified or renewed the certificate. The proposal would also set a late fee of $12.50 for renewal applications received or postmarked after March 1. Applicators who ask the DNR to provide a duplicate certificate will be charged $15.
The proposed rule changes were presented to the Animal Agriculture Consulting Organization last fall and at the Environmental Protection Commission meeting in January. There may be some changes in DNRs proposal as it goes through the rulemaking process, but Gieselman anticipates the rule will be finalized sometime in June or July.
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Page last updated October 5, 2004
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