Private pesticide applicators should recertify for 2021 now

University of Minnesota Extension
Farm Forum

Private pesticide applicators who need to recertify in 2021 need to complete recertification by Feb. 28 to avoid a gap in certification.

Recertification for private pesticide applicators looks a little different from previous years due to COVID-19 restrictions. For farmers with certifications that expire on Mar. 1, you can renew through one of four options this year. The cost is $75 for each option and recertification is good for three years.

Recertification options

Attend a live, online workshop

Attending a live online workshop via the Zoom platform will feature extension educators from your region. These have taken the place of in-person workshops for 2021 and are offered until Feb. 24. You can attend from the comfort of your home or get together and attend with another applicator.

Keep in mind that you should pre-register with your own email address. If you attend with someone else, everyone will need to pre-register prior using their own email address.

You will also need reliable internet, a working webcam, speaker, microphone and to remain online for the full four hours of the recertification workshop. Please have your certification card and number ready prior to attendance.

Pre-registration closed Feb. 17, but other workshops may be available based on your region.

Online, self-paced course

Taking the self-paced Canvas Course is another new educational recertification opportunity for current certified private applicators. The course will take you through educational modules that you can complete at your own pace.

Registration closes on Feb. 24 and the course must be finished by Feb. 28. Register at under the “Self-paced course” tab. The $75 fee is paid by credit card online.

Online certification exam

You may also take the certification exam online by going to the and clicking on the “Exams” tab. The $75 fee is paid by credit card.

Written certification exam

Finally, you may take the written certification exam that is available from most local Extension offices in the state. Please call ahead to check supplies and office hours. Mail the $75 fee made out to the “University of Minnesota” along with your exam answer sheet in the envelope provided.

The 19th Edition Manual is the current reference for the mail-in or online exam and is available for $10 at most county Extension offices or it can be viewed online at no cost at under the “study manual” tab. Private pesticide applicators can also order the manual through the UMN Bookstore by phone, mail or online for $10 plus shipping.

If you are a new applicator or your certification has lapsed, you must take either the online or mail-in exam to receive your certification. The last day to turn in either the online or mail-in exam in 2021 is Oct. 31.

For more information

If you have questions regarding the private pesticide applicator recertification or certification options above, you can contact or call (763)767-3840 or (763)260-4423, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.