Private Pesticide Applicators to See Changes on Ohio License


This fall, Ohio private pesticide applicators will receive a new license showing a change in categories. A pesticide license is required for farmers who use restricted-use pesticides in their farming operation.

 “The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has simplified the categories for private applicators,” says David Marrison for the Ohio State University Extension, Ashtabula & Trumbull Counties. “The change will mean fewer exams for new applicators and many current license holders will have fewer categories for recertification.  


The simplification undertaken by ODA has reduced the number of licensing categories from 13 to only seven. This consolidation reflects the changing needs of Ohio farming operations. Several smaller-use categories have been combined for applicators. For example, growers who raise produce will now only need one category for fruit and vegetable crops. The new categories for a private license are:

Category 1: Grain and Cereal Crops

Category 2: Forage Crops & Livestock

Category 3: Fruit & Vegetable Crops

Category 4: Nursery & Forestry Crops

Category 5: Greenhouse Crops

Category 6: Fumigation

Category 7: Specialty Uses


Some applicators will have fewer categories on their license, but will still be able to purchase and use the same pesticide products. The specialty categories of seed treatment, non-cropland, aquatics, tobacco and wood preservation were consolidated into the first six categories. This means an applicator would be able to purchase materials for these applications with at least one category on their license. For example, an applicator with Category 1 (Grain and Cereal Crops) on their license will still be able to purchase products for grain crops but also be able to buy products to treat seed and manage stored grain, non-crop areas and ponds on their farm. Tobacco and wood preservation also were consolidated.


Category 7 represents specialty uses. This category is only for applicators that do not have the first six categories on their license. An example would be someone who only does wood preservation on lumber and does not need any other crop categories.  Their license would reflect this by only having Category 7.  If an applicator has any other category on their license, they do not need Category 7.


Marrison says the Core category, which covers safety and stewardship for pesticide use, remains unchanged and is required for all applicators. More detailed information about the new categories is also available at the Pesticide Safety Education Program website: or the ODA website at:


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