NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Most ranchers, farmers, and even lawn owners agree pesticides and herbicides are beneficial substances for controlling unwanted insects and vegetation. Still their use remains debated.
The Texas Department of Agriculture has attempted a tight control of licensing procedures, but a new policy is expected to make the necessary certification less convenient to obtain.
At the Happy Cow Feed Depot in Garrison and at stores where pesticides and herbicides are sold owners know not everyone can buy or use the more lethal, restricted products. You must first receive a state-issued private applicator license.
County Agent Ricky Thompson can teach you what you need to know as soon as next week.
"It's a class," Thompson said. "It's about a 3 ½-hour, right at 4-hour class that you have to take before you can actually apply for the license."
Traditionally, the Texas Department of Agriculture would give students a test immediately after the class. That's all changed.
"As it is now, you'll have to go to one of 22 locations across the state," Thompson said.
The TDA assigns test takers a certain day and time. It's a hassle for busy farmers and ranchers.
"I totally agree," Thompson said. "That is a call we didn't get a voice in that came straight from TDA."
Feed store owner Marvin Martin knows not to bend the rules. State inspectors see to that.
"They come by and usually see us every year and inspect the books and go over what we've sold and to who they've sold to and make sure they got a license number and all that," said Martin, the owner of the Happy Cow Feed Depot.
Consumers have options. There are unrestricted products. Also ...
"If you don't have a license you can always get someone who does have a license to put that stuff out for you," Martin said.
However, Thompson advises if you do that, be sure you check out the certification because property owners can be just as liable as the person who does the spraying.
Anyone interested in taking the pesticide/herbicide class will need to know this.
You can register up to the day of the class on September 4 at the Nacogdoches County
Courthouse Annex. Classes get underway at 8:30 a.m. and plan on about a four hour day. There's a class material fee of $50.
So far, the closest testing sites for Lufkin and Nacogdoches are Houston and College Station. For more information, visit this link. The phone number for Nacogdoches County Texas AgriLife is (936) 560-7711.