New sprayer directive top of agenda at winter crop walks

A new sprayer directive coming into force this year garnered a lot of interest among farmers at the first of Teagasc’s winter crop walks in Cork this week.

A 100-strong crowd attended the first walk in Fermoy and according to Teagasc Tillage specialist, Tim O’Donovan other topics covered included: winter barley, wheat, rape and oats.

“There was also a lot of interest in the Greening rules, especially the practical aspects and the new Sprayer Directive (Sustainable Use Directive (SUD)),” he said.

Section of the 100 strong crowd at recent Teagasc winter crop walk held at DAFM farm, Fermoy, Co. Cork (Wednesday  Feb ,11)
Section of the 100-strong crowd at recent Teagasc winter crop walk held at DAFM farm, Fermoy, Co. Cork (Wednesday Feb,11)

The SUD is a new EU directive governing all aspects of pesticide use.

It is being implemented in Ireland by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Pesticides covered include : herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, seed dressings, certain rodenticides etc. Biocides (detergents, etc.) are not included yet but may be in the future.

The overall aims of the SUD are reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment and promote the use of integrated pest management (IPM) and of alternative approaches or techniques to pesticides.

Who will the SUD affect?

The SUD will affect the following:

  • Pesticide advisors;
  • Pesticide distributors (merchants);
  • Professional users of pesticides (farmers, sprayer operators, spraying companies); and,
  • Inspectors of sprayer equipment.

What is a professional user of pesticides?

A professional user is any person who uses pesticides in the course of their professional activities, including operators, technicians, employers and self-employed people, both in the farming and other sectors.

All professional users must be registered by November 26, 2015. From this date, only a registered professional user or a person operating under the direct supervision of a registered professional user can apply pesticides authorised for professional use.