More than 1,500 online continuing education courses developed by Western Farm Press have been completed for credit hours so far this year by licensed California and Arizona pest control advisers and applicators.

There are seven online courses certified for 16 credit hours by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation for all DPR licensees, including Private Applicators permit holders in California counties. Five DPR hours of laws and regulations are among those 16 CEUs (continuing education units). These classes are accredited to meet the continuing education requirements for licensees to maintain their state licenses.

Four of the courses are certified for 10 continuing education hours for all who hold Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) credentials.

All seven courses also are accredited for Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) hours in California and Arizona.

The courses are free and are accessible via www.westernfarmpress.com and www.capca.com.

More than 9,000 courses have been completed since Western Farm Press began offering online CEUs three years ago.

“It has been gratifying to see the continued response to the Farm Press online continuing education program,” said Western Farm Press publisher Greg Frey.

“Many people have been involved in the success of this effort, including many University of Arizona and University of California farm advisers and specialists who have contributed information and reviewed the courses before they went online,” said Frey.

The magazine publisher added that Farm Press' partnership with the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA) has been critical to the continued success of the program.

“None of this would have been possible without the sponsorship of Farm Press' key advertisers — Monsanto, DuPont Crop Protection, Bayer CropScience, Chemtura, and Valent USA,” added Frey.

“These sponsors all are convinced that by sponsoring these courses, they are providing a valuable and timely service to the busy, key decision makers and producers in Far West agriculture.”

In addition, Western Farm Press is developing three new courses on almond disease management, the use of copper in disease management, and a course on organic and sustainable agriculture. The courses are on track for launches this fall.

Each year, the Western Farm Press staff reviews the courses and updates them with any new information, before they are submitted in December to DPR or ADA for new accreditation for the next year.

Many of the courses are unchanged, and that has created some confusion among licensees who believe that if they take a course one calendar year, they may not take it again. That is incorrect.

Each year the courses are given new ADA or DPR numbers, and that qualifies as a new course each year.

“If, for example, you took the weed resistance management course in 2006, you can take it again in 2007, and you will get credit again for the next 12-month educational cycle,” said Frey.

Dave Duncan, chief of the DPR pest management and licensing branch, said the department has no qualms about renewing a course repeatedly, as long as the information is updated, if necessary.

“There is nothing wrong with periodic review of information important to the PCA or applicator in doing his job properly,” said Duncan. “We particularly like the idea of annual review of DPR laws and regulations.”

DPR is supportive of the Farm Press online CEU program.

“We really like online courses because we see exactly what is presented. With on-site classes, we approve outlines and you really do not know what is presented,” added Duncan.

Here is a list of the courses and credit hours awarded for 2007:

Weed Resistance Management in Agronomic Row Crops, Trees Nuts and Vines.

Sponsored by Monsanto

3 CEUs - California PCA

3 CEUs - Arizona PCA and Applicator

3 CEUs - California QL/QC/AP/JP

3 CEUs - California Private Applicator

3 CEUs - CA/AZ CCA

Lepidopterous Pest Management/Pesticide Safety

Sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection

2 CEUs - California PCA

2 CEUs - Arizona PCA and Applicator

2 CEUs - California QL/QC/AP/JP

2 CEUs - California Private Applicator

2 CEUs - CA/AZ CCA

Insecticide Resistance Management in Agronomic Row Crops

Sponsored by Valent

3 CEUs - California PCA

3 CEUs - Arizona PCA and Applicator

3 CEUs - California QL/QC/AP/JP

3 CEUs - California Private Applicator

3 CEUs - CA/AZ CCA

Managing Spray Drift to Minimize Problems

Sponsored by Valent

2 CEUs - California PCA

2 CEUs - Arizona PCA and Applicator

2 CEUs - California QL/QC/AP/JP

2 CEUs - California Private Applicator

2 CEUs - CA/AZ CCA

Powdery Mildew Control in California Grapevines

Sponsored by Chemtura

2 CEUs - California PCA

2 CEUs - California QL/QC/PA/JP

2 CEUs - California Private Applicator

2 CEUs - CA/AZ CCA-IPM

Almond Pest Management

Sponsored by Chemtura

2 CEUs - California PCA

2 CEUs - California QL/QC/AP/JP

2 CEUs - California Private Applicator

2 CEUs - CA/AZ CCA-IPM

California Groundwater Protection Regulations

Sponsored by Bayer CropScience

2 CEUs - California PCA

2 CEUs - California QL/QC/AP/JP

2 CEUs - California Private Applicator

1 CEU - CA/AZ CCA