The Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) program offers specialty certificates in three of its core competencies: resistance management, sustainability and 4R nutrient management.
“Ag is changing a lot. And we have to keep up. It’s beyond our continuing education. And working toward specialty certificates is part of that,” says Eric Carter with CPS in Patoka, Ind., a full-service retailer with seed, fertilizer and crop protection services. Carter has been a CCA since 2000 and also has the specialty certificate for sustainability.
For many retailers, the word ‘resistance’ resonates first with weed resistance to herbicides. Carter explains that in his area of Indiana, waterhemp is the biggest problem.
“It seems to spread so quick and get so bad so quick. We always try to do a good job of rotating herbicides and practices,” he explains. “This certificate reaffirms the good agronomic practices that we’ve always tried to do.”
“The specialty certificates build awareness of expertise and allow CCAs to be recognized,” explains Luther Smith, who is the director of professional development and business relations for the CCA program. “What we are seeing with resistance issues growing, the ‘I’ in integrated has become more of a focal point. One CCA told me that what’s happening in resistance is making agronomists think again. They have to think through all of the options to find the best option.”