Nebraska Department of Agriculture

Pesticide Law


Changes to Federal Pesticide Law (FIFRA)

The federal pesticide law (FIFRA) mandates that all states have a pesticide applicator certification program. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) administers that program in our state. 

The new federal regulations governing pesticide applicator certification changed January 4, 2017 and became effective May 22, 2017. These regulations required the NDA to bring its statutory and regulatory process for applicator certification into compliance with the federal law within three years (by 2020).  The federal rules made two major changes. 
  1. Increase minimum age of applicators from 16 to 18.
  2. Reduce or eliminate the opportunity for uncertified applicators to apply pesticides without certification. 
The NDA believes that under current statute, they can provide a workable solution by granting more temporary permits to uncertified applicators. These temporary permits would allow uncertified applicators to apply pesticides while working under the supervision of a certified applicator. It is anticipated that the new regulations would require an annual training for uncertified applicators and greater recordkeeping, reporting, training, and supervision. 

Nebraska legislative and regulatory action had to wait until federal regulations became effective. Originally the federal regulations were to take effect on January 4, 2017. As part of the Executive Orders of the Trump Administration, the effective date was delayed to March 21, 2017 and then delayed again by the Environmental Protection Agency until May 22, 2017.