The Michigan Agri-Business Association has launched the Certified Fertilizer Application program, a voluntary certification program aimed at ensuring environmental stewardship within the custom nutrient application industry by optimizing nutrient applications, minimizing environmental risks, and leveraging new technologies for custom fertilizer applicators.¬†¬†
‚ÄúMany custom applicators already undergo extensive annual training to properly apply nutrients, and this program helps recognize their high level of expertise,‚Äù said Tim Boring, Ph.D., vice president of MABA. ‚ÄúAt the same time, employees new to the industry must quickly learn the fundamentals of responsible nutrientmanagement, and this program helps broaden access to training opportunities.‚Äù
Certification in the program is based on the annual accumulation of credits obtained from training and educational sessions. Subject matter is intended to provide experienced operators with the latest advancements in 4R principles, introduce key concepts to beginning applicators, and reinforce the link between practices and outcomes. Safety concepts, including personal protective equipment, over the road travel, and spill response are including in the program. Credits in the program are available from MABA led training events, as well as for any industry approved training session.¬†
The program has seen broad adoption since its launch in January 2016 with over 450 applicators representing more than 45 companies enrolled. More than 270 applications are fully certified for the 2016 production season, attending at least six hours of training from both MABA sponsored training events and member company sessions. The program will soon expand to included online training modules in order to meeting growing training demands.