Chemigation program works with partners to protect water

Chemigation program works with partners to protect water

Friday, January 6, 2023

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy’s (NDEE) Chemigation Program works to ensure that those using irrigation systems to apply fertilizers and pesticides do not contaminate sources of irrigation water.

The Chemigation Program works with local Natural Resources Districts (NRDs), the University of Nebraska and agricultural producers to ensure the regulations in Title 195 – Chemigation Regulations are followed.

The NRDs inspect irrigation systems that are used for chemigation to ensure they have functioning safety equipment and issue site permits. These permits are issued annually and reported to NDEE on a calendar year basis. In 2021, 28,757 permits were issued.

NDEE certifies chemigation applicators, and applicators must renew their certification every four years. This recertification includes training and testing, which is provided under contract with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Training dates are available, with both in-person and online training and testing options. More than 1,100 applicators completed training and testing in 2021, bringing the total number of certified applicators in Nebraska to 5,437.

During the summer of 2022, NDEE launched its new credentials portal. This portal allows chemigation applicators, and other credentialed professionals, to create an account and track their training, tests and certification to ensure they are complying with all requirements.

With this collaborative work with the NRDs, the University and ag producers, NDEE can continue to protect groundwater and surface water.