Pesticides: Make sure you’re getting the right advice

As the crop walking season gets off to a start, albeit a slow one, it is important to make sure that you are getting the right advice when using pesticides.

Pesticide advice and prescriptions should only be provided to farmers by qualified pesticide advisors. The Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive (SUD) requires each individual to be trained in pesticide use.

It aims to enhance the high level of protection achieved through the entire regulatory system for pesticides.

Training

This is done through the training of all people involved in the use of pesticides, the use of integrated pest management and the testing of equipment used in pesticide application.

In the same way that farmers are required to complete a sprayer operator’s course and become a professional user, pesticide distributors and pesticide advisors must all be trained and qualified.

Pesticide advisors must do an initial training course and complete continuous professional development. This is most often recorded by IASIS (Irish Agricultural Supply Industry Standards), but may be recorded by other organisations.

Check the list

A list of qualified advisors is provided on the department’s pesticide control service website. Farmers should check out the list or simply ask their advisor are they qualified and up to date with training.

Cork tillage farmer Ted O’Leary (left), winner of the Dow AgroSciences best project award in the UCD diploma course in integrated pesticide management, is pictured on his farm with William Corrigan of Dow AgroSciences