Chapter 901:5-4 Fertilizer Applicators

901:5-4-01 Definitions.

(A) "Agricultural nutrient training" means the educational programs which satisfy the requirements of rule 901:5-4-03 of the Administrative Code and which have been approved by the director.

(B) "Agricultural production" means the cultivation, primarily for sale, of plants or any parts of plants on more than fifty acres. "Agricultural production" does not include the use of start-up fertilizer applied through a planter.

(C) "Applicator" means an individual who has applied fertilizer.

(D) "Certificate Holder" means a person who has been certified to apply fertilizer under section 905.321 of the Revised Code and rules adopted in this chapter.

(E) "Director" means the director of the Ohio department of agriculture or an authorized representative thereof.

(F) "Department" means the Ohio department of agriculture.

(G) "Farm operator" means a person who owns, leases, rents, or otherwise controls the land which has had fertilizer applied to it.

(H) "Fertilizer" means any substance containing nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium or any recognized plant nutrient element or compound, which is used for its plant nutrient content or for compounding mixed fertilizers. Fertilizer does not include lime, limestone, marl, unground bone, water, residual farm products, and animal and vegetable manures unless mixed with fertilizer materials or distributed with a guaranteed analysis.

(I) "Fertilizer application records" means the records required to be created and maintained in accordance with paragraph (A) of rule 901:5-4-04 of the administrative code.

(J) "Fertilizer certificate" means the certificate issued to a person who has been certified to apply fertilizer by the Ohio department of agriculture under Chapter 905. of the Revised Code and the rules adopted under this chapter.

(K) "Immediate family member" means an individual's spouse, parents, children, grandparents, siblings, grandchildren, brother- in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, step-parents, step-children, step-siblings, or a legal guardian.

(L) "Under the instructions and control" means that a certificate holder has instructed an applicator as to when, where, and how to apply fertilizer and is located within twenty-five miles distance or two hours time from the applicator at the time of application of fertilizer.

Effective: 12/13/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/13/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 905.321, 905.322
Rule Amplifies: 905.321, 905.322

901:5-4-02 Fertilizer applicator certification.

(A) Beginning September 30, 2017, no person shall apply fertilizer for the purposes of agricultural production unless either of the following applies:

(1) That person has been issued a fertilizer certificate by the director; or

(2) That person is acting under the instructions and control of a certificate holder and is either:

(a) An immediate family member of the certificate holder; or

(b) An individual of the same business or farm which the certificate holder is employed by.

(B) An applicant shall be issued a fertilizer certificate if the applicant has satisfied the requirements set out in Chapter 905. of the Revised Code and the rules adopted thereunder, and the following have been received by the director:

(1) The fee as set forth in paragraph (D) of this rule;

(2) A completed formal application; and

(3) Certificate showing that the applicant has successfully completed a fertilizer education course as set forth in rule 901:5-4-03 of the Administrative Code.

(C) A completed formal application on a form prescribed by the director shall include the following:

(1) Name of the applicant;

(2) Address of applicant;

(3) Applicant's date of birth;

(4) Name of employer, if applicable;

(5) Address of employer, if applicable;

(6) Phone number of the applicant; and either

(7) Pesticide applicator license number, if applicable; or

(8) The last four digits of the applicant's social security number.

(D) The initial fee and the renewal fee for a fertilizer certificate shall be thirty dollars per certification period. These fees are non-refundable. These fees are not applicable to the following individuals:

(1) A person who holds a valid and current commercial applicator license under section 921.06 of the Revised Code; and,

(2) A person who holds a valid and current private applicator license under section 921.11 of the Revised Code.

(E) Except for as provided below, the certification period for certificate holders shall commence on the first day of June and shall expire the last day of May of the third year following issuance of the certificate.

(1) The certification period for certificate holders who hold a valid and current commercial applicator license under section 921.06 of the Revised Code shall commence on the first day of October and shall coincide with the certification period associated with their commercial applicator license.

(2) The certification period for certificate holders who hold a valid and current private applicator license under section 921.11 of the Revised Code shall commence on the first day of April and shall coincide with the certification period associated with their private applicator license.

Effective: 12/13/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/13/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 905.321, 905.322
Rule Amplifies: 905.321, 905.322

901:5-4-03 Education requirements.

(A) Each applicant for a fertilizer certificate shall successfully complete a department approved agricultural nutrient training course which, at a minimum, educates the applicant on the following:

(1) The proper times to apply fertilizer, including time of day and time of season;

(2) The proper place to apply fertilizer;

(3) The form of fertilizer that should be applied;

(4) The proper amount of fertilizer to be applied;

(5) The storage and handling of fertilizer; and

(6) The proper fertilizer application techniques.

(B) Except as provided in this paragraph, all applicants for a fertilizer certificate must complete three hours of agricultural nutrient training. The following individuals are exempted from this requirement:

(1) Individuals who, at the time of their initial application for a fertilizer certificate, maintain a valid and current pesticide applicator license as outlined in Chapter 921. of the Revised Code shall complete a minimum of two hours of agricultural nutrient training.

(2) Individuals who, at the time of their renewal application for a fertilizer certificate, maintain a valid and current fertilizer certificate under the rules of this chapter, shall complete a minimum of two hours of agricultural nutrient training.

(C) Each applicant shall successfully complete a course which satisfies paragraphs (A) and (B) of this rule within twenty-four months prior to submitting an application, including renewal applications, for a fertilizer certificate.

(D) Opportunity to take a fertilizer applicator course will be provided at such times and places as approved by the director in consideration of the number and location of requests for courses.

(E) The following individuals are exempted from the education requirements found in this rule:

(1) Individuals whom have provided evidence that they have completed the training provided in accordance with the "certified crop advisor" program conducted by the "American society of agronomy."

(2) Individuals who hold a valid and current livestock managers certification under section 903.07 of the Revised Code.

Effective: 12/13/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/13/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 905.321, 905.322
Rule Amplifies: 905.321, 905.322

901:5-4-04 Recordkeeping.

(A) All fertilizer certificate holders shall maintain fertilizer application records. For each application of fertilizer applied for the primary purpose of agricultural production, the certificate holder or the applicator acting under their instructions and control shall document the following information within twenty-four hours of application:

(1) The date of the application of fertilizer;

(2) The place of application of fertilizer;

(3) The rate of application of fertilizer;

(4) An analysis of the fertilizer applied;

(5) The name of the individual whio applied the fertilizer;

(6) The name of the certificate holder, if applicable;

(7) The soil conditions at the time of the application;

(8) The type of application method (soil injected, incorporated, surface, ect.);

(9) The weather conditions at the time of application, including temperature and precipitation;

(10) The weather forecast for the day following application; and

(11) For surface application only, whether the land at the time of application was frozen and/or snow covered.

(B) All individuals acting under the instructions and control of a certificate holder shall transmit all fertilizer application records to the certificate holder within ten days of application.

(C) Fertilizer application records shall be maintained for a period of three years. If applicable, the employer of a certificate holder may elect to maintain the fertilizer application records. If elected, the employer shall maintain the fertilizer application records for a period of three years even if the employee-employer relationship has ended. The employer must make the records available to the certificate holder and the department of agriculture, upon request.

(D) All fertilizer certificate holders shall transmit all fertilizer application records to the farm operator within thirty days of application.

(E) Fertilizer certificate holders are not required to submit these records to the director, but the records shall be made available to the director or the director's designee for review upon request.

Effective: 12/13/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/13/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 905.321, 905.322
Rule Amplifies: 905.321, 905.322

901:5-4-05 Criteria for decision-making.

The director may deny, suspend, or revoke a fertilizer applicator certificate if the certificate holder or certificate applicant has:

(A) Provided false or misleading information on the application for or renewal application of the fertilizer applicator certificate;

(B) Failed to provide the fee as required in paragraph (D) of rule 901:5-4-02 of the Administrative Code;

(C) Failed to complete the fertilizer applicator education course as outlined in rule 901:5-4-03 of the Administrative Code;

(D) Recklessly applied fertilizer in such a manner that an emergency exists that presents a clear and present danger to human or animal health;

(E) Failed to maintain records as required in rule 901:5-4-04 of the Administrative Code; and

(F) A history of violations of the rules of this chapter.

Effective: 12/13/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/13/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 905.321, 905.322
Rule Amplifies: 905.321, 905.322

901:5-4-06 Annual tonnage report.

As required in section 905.36 of the Revised Code all licensees and registrants shall file their annual tonnage report on or before the thirtieth day of November of each calendar year on a form prescribed by the director of agriculture.

Effective: 2/7/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 02/07/2020
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 905.321, 905.36
Rule Amplifies: 905.321, 905.36

901:5-4-07 Civil penalties.

(A) Minor violations are events of noncompliance with section 905.326 of the Revised Code that occur only when all of the following parameters are met:

(1) The nutrient value of the fertilizer application is less than ten thousand pounds of nitrogen or six thousand pounds of phosphorous;

(2) The fertilizer application does not pose a significant risk of harm to public health or the environment; and

(3) The fertilizer application has not resulted in any discharge of fertilizer that enters the water of the state.

(B) Major violations are events of noncompliance with section 905.326 of the Revised Code that occur only when any of the following parameters are met:

(1) The nutrient value of the fertilizer application is equal to or more than ten thousand pounds of nitrogen or six thousand pounds of phosphorous;

(2) The fertilizer application poses a significant risk of harm to public health or the environment;

(3) The fertilizer application has resulted in a discharge of fertilizer that enters the water of the state.

(C) Failure to take corrective action as specified by the director or the director's designated representative for any minor violation may be considered a major violation of this rule.

(D) The director may assess a civil penalty for a minor violation of up to two thousand dollars for each day of noncompliance with section 905.326 of the Revised Code.

(E) The director may assess a civil penalty for a major violation of up to ten thousand dollars for each day of noncompliance with section 905.326 of the Revised Code.

(F) All money paid under paragraphs (D) and (E) of this rule shall be deposited into the agricultural pollution abatement fund.

Effective: 1/31/2016
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 01/31/2021
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 905.327
Rule Amplifies: 905.326, 905.327