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Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training

This training program is a cooperative effort of Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), and Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training (FACT) consists of 10 online, self-paced modules, which cover the knowledge areas in which one must be proficient in order to become a Certified Fertilizer Applicator (CFA) in Virginia. Passing the exams for all modules meets knowledge requirements to receive certification from VDACS.

Individuals who successfully complete all ten modules will receive proof of satisfactory completion of the training, which can be submitted to VDACS as part of the online application to obtain a CFA certificate.

Apply for a certificate on the Certified Fertilizer Applicator site.

Registration

Registration is required to access the Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training site on Scholar, Virginia Tech’s course management system.

Please send your request to access the training site to the course manager at FACTAccess@vdacs.virginia.gov. Once the course manager has processed your request, you will receive a guest login ID to access Scholar.


Guest Login to Scholar

1. Go to scholar.vt.edu.

2. Select the Guest Login link at the top right to log in with your guest ID.

 

    screen capture of Scholar login

 

3. Once you have logged in, select the FACT tab at the top of the page to access the training modules.

 

    screen capture of FACT tab in Scholar

 

Training Modules

1. Fertilizer Applicator RegulationsInformation about who needs to become a certified applicator and the guidelines to be followed. Details all knowledge areas that must be mastered, the records that must be kept, and who and how to report data. Details additional restrictions on fertilizer and de-icing materials.
2. Safety and Health Requirements in Fertilizer ApplicationInformation on the safe use of fertilizers and the appropriate use of personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE).
3. Principles in Turfgrass NutritionInformation on the basics of fertilizer application to include information on macro- and micronutrient, selection of fertilizers, soil pH and how it impacts fertilizer applications, and symptoms of either nutrient deficiencies or excesses.
4. Fertilizer Programming and Fertilizer SelectionStrategies for choosing the most appropriate fertilizer sources for the situation. Attention is given to the preferred timing and levels of fertility sources based on soil testing, the turfgrass being grown, the season, and specific fertilizer characteristics.
5. Label Interpretation and Basic Fertilizer CalculationsHow to interpret and utilize data presented on a fertilizer label regarding guaranteed nutrient analysis, fertilizer source, and fertilizer solubility. Examples of basic fertilizer calculations that consider both dry and liquid sources, as well as nitrogen solubility characteristics.
6. Soil and Tissue TestingInformation on the importance of soil testing and includes proper procedures and timing for collection of soil samples and analysis of soil sample results.
7. Rotary Spreader CalibrationImportance of proper calibration and area calculations, strengths and weaknesses of using a rotary (broadcast) spreader, and the basic steps and calculations in calibrating and applying fertilizer materials with this type of spreader.
8. Drop Spreader CalibrationImportance of proper calibration, the strengths and weaknesses of using a drop (gravity-fed) spreader, and the basic steps and calculations in calibrating and applying fertilizer materials with this type of spreader.
9. Sprayer CalibrationImportance of proper calibration and area calculations, strengths and weaknesses of using a spray system for fertilizer delivery, and the basic steps and calculations in calibrating and applying fertilizer materials with three types of spray systems: a backpack sprayer, a single-nozzle spray gun, and a multi-nozzle spray boom.
10. Management Strategies that Optimize the Environmental Benefits of TurfgrassInformation on basic principles and benefits of environmentally safe application of fertilizers.


Contacts

Comments or questions about training:

Mike Goatley
Turfgrass Extension Specialist and Professor
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Virginia Tech
(540) 231- 2951
goatley@vt.edu
 

Comments or questions about obtaining a CFA certificate:

Kimi D. Perry
Compliance Officer
Agricutlural Commodity Program
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
(804) 786-3514
kimi.perry@vdacs.virginia.gov