The cost of boom sprayer courses available to farmers vary by as much as €200.
Under new legislation, all farmers must be trained and registered as a professional user of pesticides with the Department of Agriculture by November 26, 2015.
However, courses are varying from one day to three days with prices ranging from €200 to almost €400.
Teagasc is offering pesticide courses in boom spraying in April and May. It says the course fee of €380 includes Teagasc trained tutors, Teagasc workbook, lunch at Gurteen College for the three days, one-on-one assessments, certification and Teagasc verification.
The April course takes place on April 9, 10 and 13 while the May course will take place over three Mondays; May 11, 18 and 25. Teagasc also says that it will be putting on further courses later in the year.
Farm Relief Services (FRS) is also offering boom spraying training courses, which will take place over two days in several counties including Mayo, Cavan and Roscommon, and cost €200.
FRS said that those who wish to do the course with their own equipment on their own site will be able to avail of a discounted rate.
Kilkenny-based HCT Ltd will also be running boom spraying courses over three days.
The courses will be running nationwide, with the March 9 course taking place in Kilkenny, on March 19 in Louth and on March 23 in Donegal. The cost of HCT Ltd’s course is €280 per person and there is a discounted rate for group bookings, it says.
The Chris Mee Group is another company offering the boom spraying course. Its course takes place over two and a half days and it is aimed at people working with pesticides on golf courses, as well as landscapers, farmers and vegetable growers, it says.
The course will be taking place in Ballymoney Golf Course, Co. Wexford on March 9, Royal Dublin Golf Course, Bull Island, Dublin 3 on March 23 and at the Curragh Racecourse on October 28.
The cost of this company’s course is €250 per person.
The IFA National Grain Committee Chairman Liam Dunne is advising farmers to shop around before booking a course. He also said that many farmers unknown to themselves may already have the necessary qualifications.
“Teagasc’s database shows that upwards on 14,000 farmers have the necessary FETAC Level 5 qualification and all they need to do is register online through the Department’s website. Farmers should check out with their local Teagasc office to see if they are qualified. If so they will be furnished with the necessary documentation,” he said.