South Carolina’s pesticide applicators are reminded to look for opportunities to obtain continuing certification hours before time runs out. Two deadlines should be kept in mind — Dec. 31, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009.

The first is for commercial and non-commercial applicators initially certified and licensed in 2003 or earlier, according to Bob Bellinger, Clemson University Extension pesticide coordinator.

The second deadline is for private pesticide applicators licensed in 2004 or earlier.

Commercial and non-commercial applicators need 10 continuing certification hours every five years. Private applicators need five hours.

“Don’t procrastinate!” said Bellinger. “Commercial applicators can best get their hours through their professional and trade associations. Private applicators can obtain their hours through programs set up by most county Extension offices, if they don’t wait. Contact your association or county agent now to find out what recertification opportunities are available locally in the coming months.”

“The purpose for recertification is to provide new information on products and regulations which will help applicators do a better, safer job,” he said. “It’s about keeping the saw sharp.”

Several Clemson University Web pages provide information on recertification for applicators.

For the basics on recertification, to submit training dates, for a statewide calendar of Extension training locations and for information on training in neighboring states, consult http://entweb.clemson.edu/pesticid/PArecert.htm.

Applicators may check their recertification credit records through Clemson’s Department of Pesticide Regulation. Commercial and non-commercial applicators can go to http://regfocus.clemson.edu/dpr/commercial.htm. Private applicators may use http://regfocus.clemson.edu/dpr/private.htm.

To check all the opportunities for which the DPR has granted continuing certification hours, check http://regfocus.clemson.edu/dpr/recert.htmhttp://regfocus.clemson.edu/dpr/recert.htm.