The registration period for crop consultants to sign up for the Feb. 4, 2011 Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) exam is now open. Deadline for registration is Dec. 10. The exam will be given in Sacramento, Salinas, San Diego and Tulare.

CCAs offer growers assurance that they are competent in all aspects of crop production and up to date on the latest in crop management and government mandates. California also offers a Manure Management specialty certification for current CCAs involved in advising livestock operations on nutrient management. The California CCA Program, administered by the American Society of Agronomy and overseen by a California board of directors, is a voluntary certification program for individuals that provide advice to growers on crop management and inputs.

It is expected that future regulatory programs being considered by various regional water boards may require certification of nutrient management plans by professionals such as a CCA. A CCA is one of the professionals that must certify nutrient management plans for dairies that are being mandated by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Board.

The role for CCAs is increasing as growers continue to face regulatory and economic challenges. A CCA is well suited to advise farmers on how to manage inputs, water, and crops in an efficient manner. More than 80 percent of the California CCAs are also licensed pest control advisers.

For more information, contact the California CCA program at 1143 N. Market Blvd, Suite 7, Sacramento, Calif., 95834 or call (916) 928-1625 for an application and more information. Exam applications are also available by going to www.cacca.org. The California CCA Program is also on Facebook.