Proper PPE for spraying crops

Asked October 17, 2016, 3:02 PM EDT

My brother farms our family farm. What are the required training and PPE for farmers so they can apply fertilizer, insecticide, and herbicide? Are there specific OSHA safety protocols farmers are required to observe? Best practices? Thanks, Teresa M. Caslavka 254-721-8429

Buena Vista County Iowa

1 Response

Hi Teresa,

Unless a pesticide (including insecticides and herbicides) is a restricted-use pesticide, you don't need a license to apply them. PPE required for each pesticide used is listed on the pesticide product label.

If a license is required, you will need to pass an exam through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and and Stewardship (IDALS) Pesticide Bureau based on the Private Pesticide Applicator Study Guide, available to order online at: or in phone at 515-294-5247 (ask for PSEP 0001).

For more information on becoming licensed to apply pesticides, please contact the IDALS Pesticide Bureau at 515-282-8591

Our program, the Pesticide Safety Education Program ( does not work with fertilizer or OSHA regulations. We do, however work with EPA's Worker Protection Standard (WPS), which offers safety information for people who work or apply pesticides on agricultural establishments.

For more information on the WPS, please refer to EPA's WPS How to Comply manual available at:

Please contact the IDALS Commercial Feed and Fertilizer Bureau at 515-242-6338 for information on fertilizers.

Thank you,