Who needs to be certified and how I do I receive Fertilizer Certification?

Please click on the link to information on how to receive your Fertilizer Certification through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.


Do I need agricultural fertilizer certification?

Anyone who applies fertilizer for agricultural production must be certified. "Agricultural production" is defined as the cultivation, primarily for sale, of plants or any parts of plants on more than 50 acres. Anhydrous ammonia applications are included in this requirement; startup fertilizer applied through a planter is exempt. Certified Livestock Manager (CLM) and Certified Crop Advisors (CCA) who need certification are exempt from the training requirement, but should contact ODA's Fertilizer Program to obtain the certificate. 

To become certified for agricultural fertilizer applications: Attend a 3-hour class.

  • Attend a fertilizer certification training class offered by Ohio State University Extension. A schedule of classes can be found at www.pested.osu.edu or by contacting you the Extension Office. Most classes are held from January through March.
  • Complete and sign the fertilizer certification form at the end of the training class. OR Pass a fertilizer exam offered by ODA. Call 614-728-6987 or visit www.agri.ohio.gov to schedule your exam.
  • If you have a pesticide license, you are done. If not, you will pay $30 for the fertilizer applicator certification. The invoice for the certification fee will be sent to you by the ODA after you complete the fertilizer certification training class or pass the exam. You will need to recertify in fertilizer application every three years.
To recertify in agricultural fertilizer applications: Attend a 1-hour recertification class every three years
  • Attend a 1-hour recertification training offered by the Extension office before your certification expires. Otherwise, you will need to re-test. You will receive a mailing with your fertilizer recertification renewal that has a schedule of classes available.
  • Complete and sign the recertification form at the end of the training class.
  • If you have a pesticide license, you are done. If not, you will pay a $30 renewal fee every three years to maintain your certificate.

What records do I need to keep with the Fertilizer Certification?

Fertilizer application records need to be documented within 24 hours of the application and kept for three years by the certified applicator. There is no standard recordkeeping format, but Ohio agricultural fertilizer records need to contain the following items:

  • Name of the responsible agricultural fertilizer certificate holder (and name of applicator if different)
  • Date of application (month, day, and year)
  • Location or field identification number of fertilizer application area
  • Rate of application (e.g., pounds of fertilizer per acre)
  • Analysis of fertilizer applied (e.g., 11-52-0)
  • Application method (soil injected, incorporated, surface-applied, etc.)
  • Soil conditions at the time of application
  • Temperature, precipitation, and other weather conditions at the time of application
    • For surface applications only: was the ground frozen or snow-covered (yes/no)?
  • Weather forecast for the day following the application

Recordkeeping Requirements for the Fertilizer Certification

Fertilizer Recordkeeping Help

For the ONMRK (Ohio Nutrient Management Recording Keeper) App used with a smart phone to keep Fertilizer Records click on the link.

For directions on how to set up the ONMRK app please click this link.   

More resources are located at Nutrient Education via OSU