Consultants Now Required for Aerial Pesticide Applicators

April 22, 2009
ICM News

By Kristine J. P. Schaefer, Pest Management and the Environment

There continues to be changes regarding pesticide application in Iowa. The April 5 ICM News article discussed changes in pesticide record-keeping requirements and the Iowa Bee Rule. Today’s article addresses an additional requirement concerning aerial application of pesticides.

All of these changes were initiated by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and went through a public comment period before becoming part of the Iowa Administrative Code. IDALS is responsible for writing and enforcing all amendments to the Iowa Administrative Code. The role of the Pest Management and the Environment program at Iowa State University is to communicate changes and updates to pesticide applicators throughout the state. The new aerial applicator changes are described below.

An aerial applicator, applying pesticides to agricultural land, can now only operate in Iowa in cooperation with an “aerial applicator consultant.” An aerial applicator consultant coordinates the commercial application of pesticides by aerial applicators. The consultant must be a resident of Iowa; hold a certification in Category 11, Aerial Application; and either a valid commercial applicator license or pesticide dealer license.   

An aerial applicator consultant has a variety of responsibilities and requirements they must comply with. A partial list of the responsibilities includes:

• Meet with aerial applicators prior to pesticide applications to verify compliance  with  Iowa’s pesticide rules, the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Iowa department of transportation
• Provide detailed aerial maps of application location
• Maintain daily communication with aerial applicator during pesticide  applications and daily oversight of pesticide handlers' activities
• Provide information regarding sensitive areas and apiaries
• Provide instructions for proper emergency response procedures in the case of a pesticide spill or accident

This change is part of amendments to Chapter 45, “Pesticides,” of the Iowa Administrative Code. The amendments, effective Feb. 1, 2009, outline the requirements, qualifications and duties of the aerial applicator consultant; the procedures for aerial application; and the license, certification, and continuing instruction requirements for aerial applicators operating in Iowa.

A full description of the amendments can be found in Chapter 45, pages 13-15, of the Iowa Administrative Code. IDALS has prepared checklists for aerial applicator consultants and for aerial application jobs.  Copies of the checklists are available at the IDALS website. Please contact IDALS, Pesticide Bureau, at 515 281-8591 for additional information.


Kristine Schaefer is a program specialist in the Department of Entomology serving on the Pesticide Management and the Environment team. Schaefer can be reached by email at or by phone at 515-294-4286.

Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on April 22, 2009. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.


Kristine Schaefer PSEP Program Manager I

Kristine is the program manager for the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.