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Compliance: Industry Essentials_NurseryDealers & Pesticide Licenses
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Compliance: Industry Essentials
Nursery Dealers License & Pesticide Applicators License


Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

The Department of Agriculture is a state agency that you should be very familiar with if you operate a green industry business in Pennsylvania.

Nursery Dealers License

Anyone selling or transporting plants in Pennsylvania must apply for and receive a license under the Pennsylvania 's Plant Pest Act.

Under the Plant Pest Act nursery stock is defined as: All trees, shrubs, brambles, woody vines, woody florist stock, herbaceous perennials, vegetable plants, bedding and other annual herbaceous plants, their roots, cuttings, grafts, scions, buds, fruit pits, seeds and their parts for propagation, except bulbs, field crop seeds, vegetable seeds, flower seeds, regardless of where the material may have been grown or is growing.

Persons engaged primarily as growers of nursery stock are considered nurseries. This definition includes many Pennsylvania greenhouse operations, in addition to traditional nurseries.

Persons that are engaged in buying and selling nursery stock, but are not primarily growers, are considered nursery dealers. It is within this diverse group of nursery dealers that most of the confusion over certification requirements has arisen.

Nursery dealers include landscape contractors, chain stores, garden centers, plant distributors, mail order firms, collectors, conservation districts conducting plant sales and any other individual who receives plants for the purposes of reselling or reshipping.

By applying for certification, a nursery dealer verifies that he will buy and sell only plants that have been inspected and certified. A certificate of inspection must always accompany all wholesale lots or out-of-state shipments.

Registration fee is $40 per year and can be done only by paper and regular mail. Download form here.

Pesticide Applicators License

If in your business you or your employees intend to apply pesticides, you must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture.

Private Pesticide Applicator: An applicator intends to purchase and/or apply restricted use pesticides for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity on land which is owned or rented by that person or their employer. To become a certified private applicator, testing is required; however, normally only a private examination is necessary.

Maintain: Private Applicator Pesticide Applicator Records, Tri-annual Fee $10

Additional testing is required if the applicator intends to use a restricted use fumigant. In this case, the applicator must obtain a special permit by passing a written examination specifically related to the type of fumigation which will be made. Private applicators are also required to obtain update training (six core and six category) credits at three-year intervals. There is no charge for testing.

Registered Pesticide Technician: Persons can be register with the Department of Agriculture as a Registered Pesticide Technician. To become Registered Technician the business must submit the person name and birth date to the Department (Form API-414) which starts a minimum 30-day training period. Training must be conducted by a Certified Applicator with at least 1-years experience and knowledge who works for the business entity. Applications made by technicians are limited to the use of materials, methods, and equipment on which they have documented training. Technicians must also be under the supervision of a certified applicator that can be on site within 5 hours if necessary. Technicians are not transferable between businesses.

Commercial Registered Technician Fee, $30, annually
Public Registered Technician Fee - $20, annually

Certified Pesticide Applicator: To be eligible for certification, a person must pass two written examinations (core and a minimum of one category) and be employed by a pesticide application business. Once exams have been successfully passed, that person has 12 months to apply for certification with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Currently there are 26 categories of commercial and public applicators.

Commercial Applicator Fee - $40, annually
Public Applicator Fee - $10, tri-annually
Core Test Fee, $50
Category Test $10 each

For more information and application forms, follow this link.

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