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Home > Licensing, Inspections, Certifications & Testing > Licensing > Private Pesticide Applicator Certification

Private Pesticide Applicator Certification


Minnesota has more than 17,000 certified Private Pesticide Applicators. These applicators generally are farmers or other persons producing an agricultural commodity and using restricted-use pesticides (RUPs) to control insects, weeds or other pests in their production operation.

Private Pesticide Applicators are certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).  The University of Minnesota Extension through an agreement with MDA administers the certification program.  Persons interested in obtaining a Private Certification can visit the University of Minnesota Extension website for information about the study manual and exams.  The study manual is available online or a paper copy is available to purchase for $10.00.  The certification exam itself can be completed electronically online or hard copy paper exam. Apply for certification online.

The three-year certification and related fees costs a total of $50.00.  A certification expires on March 1 of the third year following certification. For example, a Private Pesticide Applicator Certification that begins in 2013 will expire in 2016.  To avoid a lapse in certification, a person must renew their certification at expiration.

Once certified, applicators may purchase and use RUPs. State law also requires pesticide dealers to record all sales of RUPs to private pesticide applicators.

ENDORSEMENTS: Private applicators must obtain an endorsement to their valid  Private Pesticide Applicator Certification to purchase and apply either grain fumigants or soil fumigants.  These Endorsements are in addition to their Private Pesticide Applicator Certification to purchase and apply RUPs.

The soil fumigation endorsement was added to accommodate the changes in pesticide labels.  Any Private Applicator wishing to apply a soil fumigant must obtain a Soil Fumigation Endorsement before they apply soil fumigant products.

In order to obtain a Grain Fumigation or a Soil Fumigation Endorsement, a Private Applicator must take a closed book exam and achieve a passing score of 70%.  The endorsement runs concurrent as the certification.  Each time a Private Applicator renews the certification card, the applicator must retake a closed book exam to maintain the endorsement.

Please contact the Licensing & Certification Unit at 651/201-6615 or email us at *MDA_PesticideLicensing@state.mn.us to make an appointment to take this exam.

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