Pesticide Applicator Exam Training for Growers

The BPC and University of Maine Cooperative Extension are teaming up with other organizations to offer training sessions to help prepare growers for the Agricultural Basic or Private Pesticide Applicator Core exam.  After the training session, Agricultural Basic or Private Pesticide Applicator Core Exam and Commodity Exams will be offered.

BPC = Maine Board of Pesticides Control

UMCE = University of Maine Cooperative Extension

MOFGA = Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


January 29, 2015

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Ramada Conference Center, Lewiston [register]



February 24, 2015

1:00 - 5:30 pm

MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, 294 Crosby Brook Road, Unity. Contact Katy Green to register at 207-568-4142 or



March 4, 2015

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

UMaine Extension Building, 21 Bradeen St., Springvale [register]




Note that it is not a requirement to take a training in order to become licensed; many growers study the manual and pass the exam on their own. See below to learn how to order manuals and schedule exams.

The Agricultural Basic License

In the spring of 2011, the Maine Legislature passed Public Law 2011, Chapter 169: An Act To Require Certification of Private Applicators of General Use Pesticides. The law requires the Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) to begin licensing growers who use only general-use (over-the-counter) EPA registered pesticides and annually sell more than $1,000 of plant or plant products intended for human consumption. Growers are required to become licensed by April 15, 2015.

Keep in mind that, by definition, a pesticide is any naturally or synthetically derived substance used to kill, control, or repel undesired insects, weeds, fungi, bacteria, mammals, birds, rodents, or other organisms.

Products which are organic are also pesticides if they are used as described above. Consequently, these substances may include insecticides or bug sprays; herbicides, including weed killers and top killer products; fungicides or disease controls, rodenticides; deer repellents; defoliants; growth regulators; and disinfectants.

To obtain an Agricultural Basic license, you must pass the BPC “core exam.”  To obtain an agricultural basic pesticide applicator license, the candidate must pass one written, closed book examination. The test is called the Core Exam and covers general pesticide information. The passing score is 80%. Once the exam is passed, the candidate is certified for three years and is eligible for a license. Licenses are obtained by submitting an application for an agricultural basic pesticide applicator license and $15 to the BPC.

Core exams are offered through county offices of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension (UMCE). Applicants should call the BPC, telephone 207-287-2731, or e-mail to confirm licensing needs and testing location. The BPC strongly urges use of self-help study materials available for purchase through UMEXT's Pest Management Office, 491 College Avenue, Orono, Maine 04473-1295; telephone 800-287-0279 or, outside Maine, 207-581-3880; or e-mail ; or go to UMCE's training manual Web pages.

If you have any questions, please contact Gary Fish at 207-287-2731 or email .