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Commercial Manure Hauler & Broker Certification Program

Created under Act 49 of 2004, (the Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Certification Act) the Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Certification Program requires all owners and employees of a commercial manure hauler or broker business, that commercially haul, land-apply, or broker manure in Pennsylvania to hold a valid certificate issued by the Department in order to provide their services in Pennsylvania.  The intent is to insure that manure generated by agricultural operations is transported and applied in a safe manner.  Commercial manure haulers or brokers handling or applying manure on behalf of agricultural operations in Pennsylvania must do so according to an Act 38 nutrient management plan, nutrient balance sheet or other manure management plan developed for the operation.

All applicants must complete a required training at the appropriate level of certification and pass an examination administered by the Department.  Certification must be maintained by a certified hauler or broker by attending and completing continuing education programs approved by the Department.

The requirements for the Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Certification Program are established by regulation creating manure hauler and broker levels (Manure Hauler Level 1, 2 or 3 and Manure Broker Level 1 or 2), training and examination requirements that demonstrate a persons competency and understanding of manure handling and application principles.  The Training Program Subject Areas document provides information on the available certification levels and how those levels will apply to hauler and brokers in the industry.

If a person is employed in the transport or application of manure, a Manure Hauler Level 1, 2 or 3 certificate is appropriate in order to operate.  If a person obtains temporary control of manure (i.e. purchasing of a quantity of manure) and further arranges for transport or application of that manure to another agricultural operation or for another use, the Manure Broker Level 1 or 2 certificate is most appropriate in order to operate.

Certification Process:

  • Commercial manure haulers or brokers can obtain the necessary certification by completing the appropriate training program for the activity level.
  • Hauler Level 1 - Persons only transporting manure must review a workbook and complete a checklist verifying their understanding of basic manure handling principles.
  • Hauler Level 2 - Persons employed and supervised to haul and apply manure must review a workbook, fill out a verification form and pass a short examination.
  • Hauler Level 3 - Persons hauling or applying manure independently (without supervision) must attend a 1-day classroom training and pass and examination.
  • Broker Level 1 - Person arranging for the transport or application of manure must attend a 1-day classroom training and pass and examination.
  • Broker Level 2 - Person arranging for the transport or application of manure and interested in developing nutrient balance sheets must complete the Broker Level 1 training, nutrient balance sheet training, (Optional) P-Index training if you want to plan for winter scenarios or do option 3 of the Nutrient Balance Sheet and pass the nutrient balance sheet exam.

'Certification for New Hires publication' provides detailed instructions for training and certification procedures.

When an applicant has completed either the required workbooks and worksheets or classroom coursework and passed an examination, the Department will issue the applicant a final certification application.  An applicant will be required to submit the final application and the appropriate fee (noted below) to apply for the 'final' certificate.  All fees must be paid by check, or money order made payable to the 'Commonwealth of Pennsylvania'.

Certification & Examination Fees

  • Manure Hauler Level 1 - $10 annually
  • Manure Hauler Level 2 - $60 every 3 years
  • Manure Hauler Level 3 - $300 every 3 years
  • Manure Broker Level 1 - $325 every 3 years
  • Manure Broker Level 2 - $350 every 3 years

coursework information and registration

Persons interested in obtaining a commercial manure hauler or broker certificate must complete a Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Application indicating which certification level they are seeking.  Persons applying for a Manure Hauler Level 1 or Level 2 certificate will be sent the appropriate level workbook to review.  A copy of the workbooks may be downloaded from this webpage.  Persons applying for a Manure Hauler Level 3 or Broker Level 1 or Level 2 certificate may register for coursework and exams on the PaPlants website at www.Paplants.state.pa.us.  In order to register for the required trainings, you must register as a PaPlants User.  To become a 'PaPlants' user please complete the Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Application.  You will receive a PaPlants User ID and Pin Number.  Use this information and the PaPlants Users Guide to register for coursework.  Once you register for coursework, registration confirmation and directions to the training facility will be sent to you if you have supplied a valid email address.

training & Examination dates

Current Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Certification training dates:

Classroom trainings for Manure Hauler Level 3 and Manure Brokers are offered twice a year at either the PA Department of Agriculture in Harrisburg, Pa or the Lancaster Farm & Home Center, Lancaster, PA.  Training dates will be posted on this website as they are scheduled.

Continuing Education

Certified commercial manure haulers and brokers must maintain their certification by obtaining continuing education credits (CECs) offered through workshops, trainings and field days.  The required credits must be collected before your certificate expires.  Required CECs must be obtained in the amounts noted below:

Category/Level

Number of continuing education credits

Time frame to collect credits

Manure Hauler - Level 1

Complete an 'update' worksheet *

Every year

Manure Hauler - Level 2

6 credits

3 years

Manure Hauler - Level 3

9 credits

3 years

Manure Broker - Level 1

9 credits

3 years

Manure Broker - Level 2

12 credits**

3 years

* Worksheet is provided by the Pa Department of Agriculture when renewal is due
** 3 of the 12 credits must be obtained in Nutrient Balance Sheet courses or subjects

Training courses providing CECs must be pre-approved by PDA.  A listing of available continuing education courses is available online at 'PaPlants'.