In order for farmers to purchase or apply restricted-use pesticides (RUPs) they must obtain a private pesticide applicator’s license. As defined by the Missouri Pesticide Use Act, a certified private applicator is any individual who is authorized to use or supervise the use of any restricted-use pesticide for purpose of producing any agricultural commodity on property owned or rented by him or his employer.

A certified private pesticide applicator may apply RUPS on the property of another person, ONLY if done without compensation other than trading of personal services between farmers. Anyone who applies pesticides and is paid for the service must obtain a commercial applicator’s license.

The term pesticide is often associated only with insecticides, but the term pesticides refers numerous products. Herbicides are used to control weeds, insecticides control insects, fungicides control fungi, and rodenticides control rodents. All of these are pesticides.

Obtaining a private pesticide applicator’s license or renewing a license, involves attending a training class or viewing the training video. A program for first-time certification and to renew certification will be held on Feb. 4, at the Mildred Litton Community Building located at 10780 LIV 235 on Highway 190, west of U.S. Highway 65 in Chillicothe. The program will begin at 9 a.m. If you are unable to attend the class, contact the MU Extension office for a list of other dates and locations or to make an appointment to view the training video.

There is no charge for the program, but each farm must have a copy of the Private Pesticide Applicator Training Manual. When renewing your license bring your copy or plan to purchase one at the training.

For more information contact Valerie Tate, field specialist in agronomy for MU Extension in Linn County by email at or call 660-895-5123. University of Missouri Extension programs are open to all.

Valerie Tate is a field specialist in agronomy for MU Extension.