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Publication #PI-128

Licensing of Agricultural Tree Crop Pesticide Applicators in Florida1

Frederick M. Fishel2

This document explains the licensing and regulation of persons who apply pesticides to agricultural tree crops in Florida, as regulated by the Florida Pesticide Law (Chapter 487) and administered by the Florida Department of Consumer Services.

Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control

All persons who apply or supervise the application of restricted-use pesticides to agricultural tree crops must have a pesticide applicator license issued by the Bureau of Licensing and Enforcement. The Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control category is regulated by the Florida Pesticide Law (Chapter 487).

Category Certification Standards

Applicators seeking a license in this category must demonstrate practical knowledge of:

  • agricultural tree crops and associated pests;

  • the chemical control measures that pertain to the prevention or control of such pests;

  • the equipment or methodologies used to safely and effectively implement such measures;

  • the potential for pesticide residues on such crops;

  • preharvest application intervals;

  • post-application reentry interval restrictions;

  • phytotoxicity;

  • pesticide-related soil or water problems;

  • potential for pesticide-induced environmental contamination; and

  • non-target injury and community problems that may result from the improper use of pesticides in agricultural tree crop production.

Applicators in this category shall also demonstrate practical knowledge of:

  • the procedures and equipment used to apply pesticides with irrigation water through an irrigation system;

  • calibration of equipment for applying pesticides with irrigation water;

  • proper design, use, and maintenance of anti-siphon devices and check valves to prevent pesticide contamination of water supplies;

  • proper interpretation of pesticide label or labeling requirements for products registered for chemigation; and

  • appropriate use of personal protective equipment associated with this type of application.

License Classification

Certified agricultural tree crop pest control applicators may be licensed as either public applicators or commercial applicators. These are the major differences:

  • A public applicator is a licensed applicator employed by a public or governmental agency. The license is only valid when performing work for the public or governmental agency. The public applicator fee for a four-year license is $100.

  • A commercial applicator is a licensed applicator who is licensed to apply restricted-use pesticides on any property provided they are certified in the category for which the applications are made. A commercial applicator is usually a contract applicator. The commercial applicator fee for a four-year license is $250.


Persons must successfully complete two examinations before they can apply to the Department for a license. These examinations are a Core examination and an Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control category examination. The Core examination may be taken at any UF/IFAS Extension Office. The Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control examination may be taken at a UF/IFAS Extension Office that offers category examinations. No special qualifications must be met to take the examinations. There is no fee to take the examinations.

Study Materials

Manuals and study materials for Core and Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control applicators who will be taking exams may be obtained from the UF/IFAS Extension Bookstore by calling 1-800-226-1764 or on-line at The content of the Core exam is based upon the manual Applying Pesticides Correctly (Figure 1). The content of the Agricultural Tree Crop exam is based upon the manual Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control (Figure 2). Sample labels may be obtained from suppliers of pesticide products.

Figure 1. 

SM 1: Applying Pesticides Correctly

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Figure 2. 

SM 63: Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Applicators must recertify every four years. To recertify, applicators may take the examinations again or attend training and obtain 8 continuing education units (CEUs) approved for the Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control category and 4 CEUs approved for the Core category. Core CEUs can not be used to meet the required Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control CEUs. No substitutions of other types of CEUs are allowed. Opportunities to earn CEUs may be found at

Additional Information

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Bureau of Licensing and Enforcement, 3125 Conner Drive, Bldg. 8, L-29, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650, Phone: 850-617-7997. (accessed October 2018).

Florida Statutes, Chapter 487. Florida Pesticide Law. (accessed October 2018).

University of Florida/IFAS Pesticide Information Office, P.O. Box 110710, Bldg. 164, Gainesville, FL 32611-0710, Phone: 352-392-4721, (accessed October 2018).



This document is PI-128, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date July 2006. Revised September 2015 and October 2018. Visit the EDIS website at


Frederick M. Fishel, professor, Agronomy Department, and director, Pesticide Information Office; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.