Tim Fine

I just had some people come in and take the test so that they could obtain a license to use restricted use pesticides on their operation. And I am happy to report that they passed so there are now a couple more licensed applicators in Richland County. I know that I’ve talked about this before but to become a licensed applicator one must either attend a 6 hour training course or pass a 50 question exam with a 70 percent or better. Then he or she must pay $60 to the Montana Department of Agriculture (or less depending on where we are at in the recertification cycle but that gets too complicated to try and explain). That $50 fee and, more importantly, what it is used for, is what I want to focus today’s article on.

To break it down, of the $60 that gets paid by every licensed private applicator, $15 goes to the Montana Department of Ag for administrative fees, $25 comes back to the Extension Office in the county where the private applicator resides, $5 goes to the MSU pesticide education office, and $15 goes to the Montana Department of Agriculture’s Waste Pesticide Disposal Program. You may be asking what this waste pesticide disposal program is all about, well let me tell you.

Occasionally I will get calls from a farmer, new homeowner, new landowner, renter, etc… with a question that goes something like this. “I have some stuff in a container. I’m pretty sure it’s a pesticide of some sort but there is no label or there was something written on the container but I can’t quite make it out. What can I do with it?”

This is where the MDA’s waste pesticide disposal program comes in handy. The administrators of the program break the State of Montana in to three separate regions; Western, Central, and Eastern and every year conduct a disposal in a region so that once every 3 years a collection will be held in each area of the State. The program is simple, if you have products that you want to dispose of, you just go to https://agr.mt.gov/Pesticide-Waste-Disposal and download the form to register your products. Since the program is funded in part by fees collected from the private applicator program, there is no charge for the first 200 pounds an individual brings to the collection. After the initial 200 pounds, it is still only $1/pound with a minimum charge of $5. We are fortunate in that 2019 is the year for the program to visit Eastern Montana and there will actually be a stop in Sidney on Sept. 18. And since I know that harvest will be in full swing come Sept. 18, I will once again volunteer to come and pick up items that you have to dispose of for you. All you have to do is visit the site listed above and register your products prior to Sept. 9 and let me know. If you do not pre-register, you cannot participate

As always, if you have questions, you are welcome to contact me at 433-1206 or send an email to timothy.fine@montana.edu. I will make every effort to deliver products for you if it can be arranged but there will obviously be limitations.

Load comments