A free, nationally accredited continuing education unit for American Society of Agronomy (ASA) licensed Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) has been launched by Southeast Farm Press.

The course, “Spray Drift Management,” has been accredited by ASA for one hour in the pest management category. It is available on the Southeast Farm Press Web site, www.southeastfarmpress.com, and on its affiliated Farm Press University Web site, www.farmpressuniversity.com.

The course was developed by the Southeast Farm Press staff from information provided by leading university and industry experts in agricultural spray drift management.

A button link on the Farm Press Web sites will lead CCAs to the free course, which consists of text areas followed by questions. There are 27 questions in the course. By answering all the questions correctly, a CCA can earn one CEU.

If a question is answered incorrectly, the program will return the participant to the text area where the correct answer is located. The CCA is then directed back to the missed question to select the correct answer.

All questions must be answered correctly for the CCA to proceed through the course and earn the CEU.

After completing the course, the CCA fills out an information form that is submitted electronically to a course administrator, who in turn notifies ASA that the CCA has completed the course. A verification of attendance form at the end of the course can be printed out for the CCA’s records.

“This national CCA course is another step in the rapidly-growing online education platform first developed by Farm Press in California, Arizona, Texas, and Oklahoma,” says Southeast Farm Press Publisher Greg Frey. “There are now five continuing education courses offered online for licensed pest control advisers and licensed applicators in those four states.

More than 1,400 courses have been completed by licensed agricultural consultants, applicators, and producers since the first online CEU was launched by Farm Press a year and a half ago.

“We have received many positive responses about the material our staff has developed and delivered in a convenient online format,” Frey says. “The courses are available 24/7, and are offered without charge to licensed professionals.”

The spray drift management course now offered to CCAs has been available to applicators in the four Southwest and Western states.

Additional courses offered in the West include Powdery Mildew Management in California Grapevines; Insecticide Resistance Management in Agronomic and Row Crops; and a course covering California’s new groundwater protection regulations.

All courses have been accredited by one or more of the following state agencies: California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Arizona Department of Agriculture, Texas Department of Agriculture, or the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.

This new CCA course offered on the Southeast Farm Press Web site is designed to aid CCAs in meeting ASA’s license renewal requirement. A CCA must earn 40 hours of continuing education credits every two years to maintain his or her license. The International CCA board allows all 14,000 CCAs in the U.S. and Canada to earn up to 20 CEUs in the two-year cycle through self-study/online courses.

The courses now offered online by Farm Press have generated many positive responses.

“This is a great idea and a wonderful way to educate and certify pesticide/herbicide applicators,” said Steve Parrett, farm manager for a cotton, grain sorghum, and cereal grain operation at Claremore, Okla.

California-licensed Pest Control Adviser John Mueller of Visalia said, “This is a great and most helpful way to get needed hours for renewal. Thanks.” Licensed California PCAs have continuing education requirements similar to CCAs.

“Good presentation of material. A time-efficient way to get the best information available,” commented James Knabke, a Clovis, Calif. PCA.

Tim Fleming, a California PCA at San Diego, said, “A wonderful, educational resource. An easy way to learn by testing, but more importantly, receiving the correct answers/information at the same time. Thank you.”

Napa, Calif., independent PCA Bill Henri said, “I'd like 20 hours a year made available (online.).”

Robert Hensley, Alvin, Texas rice producer called the accredited Texas spray drift management course “very beneficial information.”