‘Most farmers have until summer to complete spraying training course’

Most farmers have until the spring/summer of 2016 to have completed sprayer training courses, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.

As of November 2, a total of 4,532 people had registered with the Department of Agriculture as trained and registered professional users of pesticides.

Some 3,483 farmers have registered with the Department as ‘professional pesticide users’.

The Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive sets minimum rules to reduce the risks to human health and the environment that are associated with pesticide use.

It also promotes the use of integrated pest management. The Directive is designed to further enhance the high level of protection achieved through the entire regulatory system for pesticides.

Implementation of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive relies heavily on the training of the various people involved at all levels of the industry, including Professional Users i.e. any individual who applies professional use Plant Protection Products.

Anybody who applies professional use plant protection products, regardless of quantity or method of application, is deemed to be a professional user and, as such, is required to be appropriately trained and registered with the Department.

Deadline

Farmers can buy pesticides after the November 26, 2015 deadline but cannot apply the spray with their own sprayer unless they have completed the following:

  • Registered with the DAFM (See below) as a professional user and
  • Have completed the Pesticide Application module as part of a Teagasc (FETAC level 5 or 6) course will meet the requirements for professional user training (or equivalent)

According to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, in practice only those farmers who intend to apply plant protection products immediately after the November 26 date will have to complete their training and registration by that date.

“The vast majority of farmers who will not be applying plant protection products until the spring/summer of 2016 will have some further time to be trained and registered but they must complete this requirement before they apply/spray professional plant protection products,” he said.

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