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Fire&LawnRescue
07-11-2012, 08:58 PM
Hey guys, sorry if this topic has already been brought up as I have been away from the site for the last year. Business has been good and keeping me very busy. However, I recently had a run in with the dept of Agriculture that I felt I should share.

I was using a chemical weed killer called Glysophate purely to hit weeds groing along sidewalks or in natural areas. I had the neighbor of one of my customers call them and turn me in to them because a plant in her yard died almost 6 months after I sprayed this yard to kill off Ivy. It turned into a huge situation in which my customers, myself and my vendors were all investigated. I was threatened with a $5,000 fine if we were caught using it again without a license. If you do not know what it is, it's basically Roundup. A little less watered down and you can buy in bulk. For guys like myself who have to cut in the south where it is very humid and we have a lot of rain in the summers, there is really no way to get around weeds overtaking the yards without spraying them.

To make a long story short, the D of A is now going around looking for companies who are "illegally" using these LEGAL chemicals. If you are profiting off of killing weeds they expect you to have a license for it. They tell me it is the hardest test they give and basically discourage you from getting the license, while just expecting you to stop treating the weeds. I don't have the luxury to do that as the next company will come in and do the same thing until they get fined.

When asked why they are so strict on this now, i was basically told because they have had a lot of complaints with grass and plants accidentally being sprayed and dying. Also they need to find more ways to generate money.

Has anybody else run into this problem or have any of you taken the test to get the license?

jrayb39667
07-11-2012, 09:22 PM
What if you didn't charge for the use of glycophosphate to kill weeds? Would they be able to fine you then? With the cost of this weed killer being pretty cheap compared to round up, I usually offer this as a free service to my clients if they let me spray around all buildings & trees. I do this because it cuts my on the job time down tremendously so I end up making more $$ by the hour. I live in south MS and I know what you mean about keeping the weed under control.

LawnTeam
07-11-2012, 09:30 PM
YES! I have. it has happened locally. Just this week I started the classes to get certified and got lots of free help from Dof A (but I made the call for help). Message me if you want any of the info. They were very helpful and in a few months I should have my commercial license and turf license. Sorry that happened to you.

LawnTeam
07-11-2012, 09:39 PM
Here's an idea. Why don't we all study for the test together? A post a day about what we have studied? they say the best way to learn something is to share or teach it. then we can all have a virtual party, kick our feet up with a beer and know that we did it together. Come on, let's try!

myblacktruck
07-12-2012, 07:09 AM
I have a few questions. Is the test the same for every state and what's all involved with getting it started? I've had a lot of calls for spraying this year, and I had to tell them all sorry I'm not licensed or Insured for spraying. It got me thinking hard about getting into spraying. I live in Pa. on the eastern side and don't even know where to begin with any of it. As dry as its been around here there's nothing going on here for the last few weeks, so I'm looking at options for more income to be coming in

Steve
07-12-2012, 03:03 PM
A post a day about what we have studied? they say the best way to learn something is to share or teach it.

That is a great idea. I'd say do it.

Is the test the same for every state and what's all involved with getting it started?

For PA. check out this site. http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_24476_10297_0_43/AgWebsite/ProgramDetail.aspx?name=Pesticide-Certified-Applicators-and-Registered-Technicians&navid=12&parentnavid=0&palid=113&

It turned into a huge situation in which my customers
Was there any fine at all or were you just issued a warning in the end? Are you going to take the test to get your applicator's license now or what is your plan?

mark123
07-12-2012, 06:07 PM
Thanks for the reminder. I've got to put the Dept. of Ag. phone number in my cell phone so that I can call them and report all the unlicensed hacks around here.

LawnTeam
07-12-2012, 10:02 PM
I'm in VA. Virginia Tech has a class. I was able to get the books to read and review, since there have been big gaps in when I have been using agricultural chemicals.
Va training is based mostly on national standards. there are some proceedural differences but the safety part is basically the same.

Godslapper
07-12-2012, 11:05 PM
Yep that's BS. I've got my C.A. license but all I do is spot treat. I heard of one guy that used 2,4D and some how he killed a lot of grape vines at a wine making place over a mile away. Windy day I guess.

Fire&LawnRescue
07-14-2012, 02:17 PM
What if you didn't charge for the use of glycophosphate to kill weeds? Would they be able to fine you then? With the cost of this weed killer being pretty cheap compared to round up, I usually offer this as a free service to my clients if they let me spray around all buildings & trees. I do this because it cuts my on the job time down tremendously so I end up making more $$ by the hour. I live in south MS and I know what you mean about keeping the weed under control.

This is actually what I have been doing. However, I am still running the risk of coming across the guy who says, "No, I caught you with it and you are getting fined". Ideally, I would love to be licensed. Working two full time jobs and being a husbans and a son and a friend and trying to have some sort of a life is really limiting my ability to obtain a license that I will actually have to put in some time studying for.

Fire&LawnRescue
07-14-2012, 02:34 PM
I love the idea of all of us studying the material together. I just wonder how the material may differ from state to state as far as the regulations or rules may not be the same.

I also know that it would be hard for me to find the time to get on here and find the time to contribute due to my schedule.

However, I just emailed the Alabama dept of agriculture and found the "Pesticide Certification & Licensing" contact information. I requested all of the information I needed to move forward with becoming licensed and doing any kind of registering for the test. Hope to hear back from them soon.

If anybody else wants to try and get in on the group study session I am all for it and will do my best to participate as time allows. Summer probably isn't the easiest time of year to start studying for most of us but then again, most of us wouldn't be cutting grass if we were afraid of hard work.

SECTLANDSCAPING
07-14-2012, 02:39 PM
In CT you have to be licensed to use any chemical or trim anything taller then 16ft. I was reported for advertising but when I was contacted I was legit. The guy pretty much said you can be fined $5000 just for advertising fertilizing, weed treatment, pruning, etc.

I was thinking of not renewing my licenses because I dont do enough work to justify the cost. I told the DEP people that I was going to let it expire and switch to organics and he acted like he would fine me for that too. That part might be a scare tactic to keep the money flowing.:confused:

shadrach
07-14-2012, 03:51 PM
What if you didn't charge for the use of glycophosphate to kill weeds?

Not going to keep you from getting fined.

LawnTeam
07-14-2012, 09:34 PM
Even if we only study a bit during the busy months, we will be further ahead than we were. I've been looking at the regs and they are mostly based on the federal ag standards for VA.
I'm doing it. Told all the guys at work so they can hold me to it. Goal is to finish in 120 days.