Seed treatment commercial pesticide applicator recertification program

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension
Iowa State University

Extension Lead(s)
(name, position, counties served, contact information)

Betsy Buffington, Extension Program Specialist

Your Position


POW # and Team

 ­­­­­_____100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection
­­­­­_____ 110 Dairy
­­­­­_____ 120 Farm and Business Management
­­­­­_____ 130 Horticulture: Commercial and Consumer
­­­­­_____ 140 Iowa Beef Center
­­­­­_____ 150 Iowa Pork Industry Center
­­­­­_____ 160 Natural Resources and Stewardship
__x___170 Pesticide Applicator Training
_____Other ANR Programs

ANR Priority (select all that apply)

­­­­­_____Global Food Security and Hunger
­­­­­_____Regional Food Systems
­­­­­__x___Natural Resources & Environmental Stewardship
­­­­­_____Food Safety
­­­­­_____Sustainable Energy – Biofuels & Biobased Products
­­­­­_____Climate Change

Title of Success Story

Seed treatment commercial pesticide applicator recertification program

Continuing Story

__x___ No                _____  Yes (If continuing, what story?)

Knowledge Areas: (USDA categories)


Desired Changes

The commercial pesticide applicator recertification program for seed treatment is offered yearly to provide pertinent and timely information to pesticide applicators so they understand the importance of pesticide safety and have the knowledge to safely and effectively apply pesticides.

(Why is it important to address this issue with education?  What are the desired changes?)

Federal and State laws require that all people who purchase and apply restricted use pesticides and any applicator that applies pesticides for hire be certified according to established standards. Members of the Pest Management and the Environment Program at Iowa State University develop and deliver the recertification training programs to over 9,000 commercial pesticide applicators across Iowa.

(Outputs: activities, numbers reached, publications, products)

A total of 649 applicators viewed the 2010 Commercial Seed Treatment recertification program at county extension offices throughout Iowa. Recertification participants are asked to fill out an evaluation following the program that assesses the value and effectiveness of the program and provides feedback to the presenter. The program included information on the topics of laws, pesticide stewardship, safe handling and personal protective equipment, and pests and pest management.

RESULTS (Outcomes:  specific changes that occurred in Learning, Actions, Conditions; how outcomes were measured)

Program evaluations were received from 275 applicators. Ninety-nine percent of the participants responded that they currently (88%) or will likely (11%) keep records of all applications of pesticides to seeds. In the area of safe handling of pesticides and personal protective equipment, 81% said they currently review the PPE requirements on the label for every seed treatment used and 18% said they will likely do so in the future as a result of the program. Also related to personal protective equipment, 88% of participants said they currently minimize exposure to seed treatment pesticides by wearing the PPE required on the label and 12% stated that they will do so as a result of attending the training. In the area of pest management, 37% of participants reported they better understand the use of seed treatments to manage nematodes and 15% said they recognize soybean seedling diseases controlled by seed treatments as a result of the program.
When asked to rate the program overall 93.5% of the respondents rated it as good or excellent. Attendees commented on the program evaluations “All speakers were great” and “This was very good this year.” When asked to describe one seed treatment practice that they would change or modify during the next year as a result of the training, applicators stated that they would be more careful in using the correct personal protective equipment and would keep better records of seed treatment applications.

Public Value (now or future)
(Impact:  Who benefits beyond participants and how?  What conditions changed?)

Commercial pesticide applicator recertification training promotes responsible decision making, which protect pesticide users, public health, plant and animal health, and the environment.

Major Partners or Collaborators


Where story took place
(Region, campus, multi-regional)

Throughout Iowa

Fiscal Year


Multi-state or Integrated (Ext + Research)


Funding Source



Pesticide applicator training, commercial applicators


Page last updated: July 1, 2011
Page maintained by Julie Honeick,