By Gary Sliworsky
Ag rep, Emo
Under Regulation 63/09 of the Pesticides Act, Ontario farmers must be certified to buy and use Class 2 or 3 pesticides on their farms or woodlots.
Certified farmers must ensure that pesticides are purchased, used, stored, transported, and disposed of according to Regulation 63/09.
To become certified, a farmer successfully must complete the Grower Pesticide Safety Course, which is recognized by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MoE).
The MoE classifies pesticides into one of 11 different classes (Class 2 or 3 pesticides are the most hazardous). You must be certified before you can buy and use them.
To find out if the products you plan to use on your farm are Class 2 or 3 pesticides, you can contact your local vendor or check the MoE website at www.ene.gov.on.ca
Under Regulation 63/09 of the Pesticides Act, you are a farmer if you own or operate an agricultural operation. Renting, leasing, or share cropping a farm are included in this definition.
Agricultural operations include activities to:
•grow, produce, or raise farm animals or crops;
•produce eggs, cream, or milk;
•operate agricultural machinery and equipment;
•process farm products; or
Certified farmers also may buy and use Class 2 or 3 pesticides to manage the woodlot on their farm.
To become a certified farmer, you must:
•meet the definition of a farmer under Regulation 63/09;
•be at least 16 years of age;
•attend a one-day Grower Pesticide Safety Course; and
•successfully complete the course and the certification exam.
You must renew your certification every five years. You can:
•attend a classroom session and pass the exam at the course; or
•study on your own and pass the exam at an exam-only session.
The Ontario Pesticide Education Program at the University of Guelph Ridgetown campus co-ordinates the Grower Pesticide Safety Course across Ontario.
Courses and exam-only sessions (to renew a certificate) are offered between November and April.
A Grower Pesticide Safety Course is scheduled to be held in Emo on Jan. 31. Renewal notices will be sent to anyone who holds a certificate that will expire during 2013.
If you no longer are certified or have not been previously certified, contact the Ontario Pesticide Education Program to register.
You can call 1-800-652-8573, fax 1-519-674-1589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org