AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO) and the Asmark Institute have created a new Applicator Training Course specifically for crop protection and crop nutrient applicators with more than three years of experience. The two-day program was developed at the request of agricultural retailers and will help experienced applicators stay current with critical issues in an ever-changing industry. The classroom course will be conducted at the Applicator Training Center in Bloomington, Ill., which opened in June 2017 through collaboration between the two organizations.
“Professional applicators working in the industry today are challenged with increased job complexity,” says David Webster, director, AGCO Application Division. “Not long ago, glyphosate-tolerant crops dominated the market, and weed control programs were somewhat standard. That’s completely changed with the rise of herbicide-resistant weeds, the introduction of new chemistries with stricter drift control requirements, and more producers choosing prescription weed control that can mean a different tank-mix in every field to control resistant weeds.’
“Even the most experienced applicators need a full understanding of today’s products and practices to properly steward products and effectively control weeds for customers. For many years, AGCO has been committed to supporting professional applicators, and we believe this course is an important way we can help applicators meet these new challenges,” Webster says.
The two-day Experienced Applicator Training Course is open to anyone involved with crop production, from producers to professional applicators. Classes will be available in 11 sessions from early November through the first week of March. Each class is limited to 21 attendees, on a first-come basis. The course covers a broad range of topics including:
- how to reduce or eliminate off-target applications due to spray drift,
- the differences in tank additives,
- proper cleanout techniques,
- the importance of recordkeeping,
- reading and understanding product labels,
- self-protection in emergencies and how to safety travel on roads, and
- how to assess and choose a drift management strategy based on individual field situations.
Tony Kornder, a professional applicator with Ag Partners in Le Sueur, Minn., has more than 20 years of experience. In 2016, Kornder received the Operator of the Year Award from AGCO. Kornder agrees that additional education for even the most experienced applicators is good for both the industry and applicators.
“Our industry has basic licensing and training; however, applicators today need continuing education to help them consistently provide professional results in all situations,” says Kornder. “Attending educational training classes, whether it’s for beginning or experienced applicators, is an opportunity for applicators to improve their skills and knowledge. It’s also an important way to show customers and the general public our industry’s commitment to safely and efficiently applying crop protection products.”
Kornder adds, “Considering complex new chemistries, buffer requirements, changing regulations and increased scrutiny of the agricultural industry, going to a refresher course has many advantages. Besides the technical coursework, learning from peers about what has or hasn’t worked in their area of the country gives us valuable practical information we can use in our own work. The beginning applicator course is critical to teach the basics. An advanced course can help veteran applicators learn how to handle new issues and challenges and refresh them in the basic skills required for professional applicators.”
The Experienced Applicator Training Course will be taught by Greg Yoder and Gary Cornell, seasoned ag industry professionals who both started their careers as applicators. Together, they have more than 90 years of industry experience. The classroom training course will provide hands-on-exercises that help attendees not only learn but commit new application processes to memory. Weather permitting, the instructors may also use the mile of all-weather track and more than a million dollars in application equipment to reinforce the course training. At the end of the course, applicators will have gained insights on how to make decisions to apply or not apply crop protection products on a field-by-field basis.
Both AGCO and the Asmark Institute have supported the needs of agricultural retailers for years. Established in 1990, Asmark provides risk management services and products for the agricultural industry and is dedicated to educating and developing custom applicators. AGCO has supported and recognized the industry’s top professionals through the AGCO Operator of the Year Award program since 2006 and provides leading application equipment and technology through products such as RoGator® and TerraGator® applicators first introduced nearly 50 years ago.
For more information about the Experienced Applicator Training Course or to register online, go to www.asmark.org/TrainingCourses/applicator-training-experienced. Registration is open for classes available in November 2018 and January, February and March of 2019. For more information about application technology available from AGCO visit your local AGCO Application Equipment dealer or Challenger-ag.us.