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Can I download training manuals?

No. Manuals are available only in printed form.

Several individuals have called to advise us to "give" the manuals away by posting them on the web so they can download and print them themselves. We have several reasons why we do not post these materials electronically.

  • There is still a demand for printed copies of training manuals - even those who want to download manuals want to print them. The printing budget for training manuals is a self-sustaining fund. Manual pricing is structured to enable us to reprint and store new manuals.

  • Placing electronic copies on the web increases our liability and that of the user because releasing electronic copies invites abuse and misuse of the electronic content. Once an electronic copy is released, anyone can repost it on the web or reproduce it in a form that may not be representative of its original form or future revisions. Printed manuals are carefully controlled and revised to take into account changes in technology and changes in laws and regulations. Controlling inventories is part of safeguarding ourselves and guaranteeing that applicators have the correct copy of manual to pass the state certification exams.

  • Printing your own copies from a posted file may sound like a good idea, but consider the costs of doing so. Remember, your cost isn't just how much it costs you to print off a page on your printer. There are hidden costs that increase your overall cost per page to print a document on your printer. For example: The core training manual totals 242 pages including the covers and inserts. To download this manual and print it on an inkjet printer will cost you between 4 and 6 cents per page dependent upon the inkjet printer and paper type used. This does not take into account the per page cost of the printer itself. Most inkjet printers are priced below $500, so the cost gets passed onto the user with the high price of inkjet cartridges (which range in price from $25-35 and most inkjet printers use from 2 to 5 cartridges each). Taking these figures into account and using a median cost of 5 cents per page, the basic cost of printing the core manual would be $12.10. The user would be left a basic unbound printout. To bind the manual it would cost you another 2-3 dollars. This amounts to a savings of about 5-6 dollars over the cost of a professionally printed manual. Then add the time it costs you to download the manual, print it, organize it, and bind it and it is likely the overall costs would wind up either about the same or maybe even more than buying a bound manual. REMEMBER, if you are in business, your time is also part of these costs. Black and white laser printers cost less. The cost per page is about 3-5 cents, again dependent on the paper used and toner costs. Color lasers cost much more. Add the cost of maintenance and the cost per page to purchase a laser printer and your end costs get pretty close to inkjet costs. Again if one uses the median figure (5 cents a page) the costs overall get pretty close to buying a printed copy of the manual.

These are all reasons why we have no plans to post electronic copies of our training manuals. We appreciate your patience and understanding of these points... Thank you.


To be sure you're ordering the right manuals and know the cost of each, go to the MANUAL ORDERING WEBSITE.

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Fertilizer Certification

Online Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training


Virginia Cooperative Extension offers a free online training and testing program (Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training, FACT)

Upon successful completion of this online training program, users meet the requirements of becoming a Virginia Certified Fertilizer Applicator as administered through the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). The link to the FACT website is and complete instructions on how to access the system, enroll in the training, complete the training and testing, and contact information for any questions are provided.

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