Don’t risk spending a fine day in the office when it comes to record keeping

Record keeping is part and parcel of tillage farming in Ireland. Therefore, it’s important to get it done now to avoid being inside on a fine day after it has all piled up.

Department of Agriculture record sheets are available on the PCS (Pesticide Control Service) section of its website. Farmers should download or print the integrated pest management (IPM) survey and the crop record sheets; all farmers must fill out the IPM survey.

This contains the eight principles of IPM. Farmers must tick what methods they implement on their farm under each of the areas.

Eight key areas of IPM:
  • The prevention and/or suppression of harmful organisms;
  • Monitoring of harmful organisms;
  • Application of appropriate plant protection measures;
  • Sustainable biological, physical or other non-chemical methods;
  • The pesticides applied shall be as specific as possible for the target pest;
  • Use of pesticides at necessary levels;
  • Anti-resistance strategies applied to maintain the effectiveness of the products;
  • Recording the success of the applied crop protection measure.

There is no limit to the number of methods that you can tick, but there are no advantages to ticking a box if you don’t practice that method of IPM.

A separate record sheet must be filled out for each LPIS parcel (Land Parcel Identification System), number or location.

Each time a product is applied the following must be recorded:
  • The date applied;
  • Product name;
  • PCS number of the product;
  • The crop the product was applied to;
  • The area (ha) that the product was applied to;
  • The application rate;
  • The volume of water applied;
  • The method of application;
  • If a buffer zone was needed, the size must be recorded;
  • The reason for the products use;
  • The pesticide user number (PU) of the person who applied the product.

It’s important to make sure that the PCS number on the container matches the PCS number in the records. This is important as the PCS number may change as the product is re-registered.

Filling out records on the computer can save time. Where fields have been treated, the same information can be easily copied to the next record sheet. This will have a different LPIS number, but may have received the same amount of plant protection products.