In February 2021, there will be a new opportunity for California Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) to add a Nitrogen Management Specialty to their certification. The California Nitrogen Management Specialty will be available from the American Society of Agronomy for CCAs looking to provide nitrogen management planning services to their clients, including certifying Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Plans (INMP) for California farmers and ranchers.
The California Nitrogen Management Specialty will come with new testing and continuing education requirements. The specialty exam is being offered beginning in February 2021. A CCA must pass the exam before being added to the state approved list, unless they have already participated in the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Nitrogen Management Training for CCAs.
To maintain this specialty, CCAs must earn additional continuing education units (CEUs) in the nutrient management and soil and water management categories. The specialty will require a minimum of 8 units in the nutrient management (NM) category and 7 units in the soil and water management (SW) category. However, the total number of CEUs required for CCAs to maintain their certification will remain at 40 units every two years.
In addition to the annual renewal fee for CCAs, there will be an annual fee for the specialty.
Training Module and Discussions
To help CCAs prepare for the specialty exam, the University of California created an online course based on the exam’s performance objectives. Registration for the online course opened November 9 and will remain open until December 31, 2020. To compliment the video series there will also be several discussion sessions on soil, water, and nutrient management. Access to the online content will remain open for registered participants until February 2021.
The online course includes a video series and discussion sections and is open to anyone interested in learning more about nitrogen management. Each module is eligible for CEUs for existing CCAs. The modules and discussions are as follows:
- Module 1: Environmental Impacts of Nitrogen Loss (0.5 SW CEU)
- Module 2: Nitrogen Cycling Soil Transformations (1.0 SW CEU)
- Module 3: Nitrogen Cycling Plant Utilization (1.0 NM CEU)
- Module 4: Nitrogen Sources (1.0 NM CEU)
- Module 5: Nitrogen Budgeting (1.0 NM CEU)
- Module 6: Irrigation and Nitrogen Management (SW 1.5 CEU)
- Module 7: California Cropping Systems (2.0 NM CEU)
- Discussion 1: Nutrient Management Topic TBD (1.0 NM CEU)
- Discussion 2: Soil & Water Management Topic TBD (1.0 SW CEU)
- Discussion 3: Nutrient Management Topic TBD (1.0 NM CEU)
- Discussion 4 Soil & Water Management Topic TBD (1.0 SW CEU)
Registration is open now for both the online course and the Nitrogen Management Specialty Exam. Registration for the online course closes December 31, 2020, and registration for the exam closes January 8, 2021.