Over 24,000 apply to be professional users of pesticides – Department

Some 24,000 applications to be a registered professional user of pesticides have been approved to date by the Department of Agriculture.

A further 890 applications are being processed and all have been contacted by Pesticide Registers either to acknowledge receipt of their application or, in addition, to request further clarification on their training, the Department has confirmed.

This year’s applications are up on 2015, when approximately 11,500 professional users applications were received in 2015.

Applicants, whose application forms are completed properly and who have completed the required training will receive their approval notice by email, containing their PU number, within three weeks of application.

A professional user is any person who applies/sprays professional use products, regardless of quantity or method of application, both in the farming and other sectors, the Department has said.

As of November 26, 2016, all boom sprayers greater than 3m and all blast and orchard sprayers intended for immediate use must be tested and in receipt of a certification label from a Department-registered Equipment Inspector.

Equipment remaining untested on November 26, 2016 must not be used until such time as it has been tested and deemed to be fit for purpose (in receipt of a certification label from a Department-registered Equipment Inspector).

In order to be compliant with regulations, all tests on Pesticide Application Equipment must be carried out by fully trained, Department-registered Equipment Inspectors. All equipment is tested to the EN 16122 standard.

To date, in excess of 2,000 such certification labels have issued from the Pesticide Control Division to registered EIs.

The interval between inspections must not exceed five years up until 2020 and must not exceed three years thereafter. All new equipment must be inspected within five years of purchase, the Department has said.