Testing of all types of ‘sprayers’ due in coming months

The spectrum of pesticide application equipment to be tested is widening. James Caplis of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine spoke to AgriLand at a recent TOPPS event focused on the safe use of pesticides and water quality.

James stated that towards the end of this year and into 2020 pesticide application equipment other than large boom sprayers will be tested.

“There’s going to be a new schedule coming up as well towards the end of this year, or maybe early 2020, which includes a whole new raft of pesticide application equipment which will need to be tested,” he explained.

Among some of the equipment listed were:
  • Boom sprayers under 3m;
  • Drill-mounted application equipment (e.g. for applying nematocides on potato planters);
  • Maize sowing equipment fitted with herbicide applicators;
  • Weed wipers;
  • Slug pellet applicators.

While James mentioned the positives that have come from the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) such as sprayer testing and professional user training he also stated that there is more work to be done.

He explained that the department wants to ensure that “only approved pesticide equipment is used on farms” and noted that there may be a need for a scheme to be put in place to decommission sprayers which are no longer in use.

He added that there is currently new legislation being drawn up on the use of weed wipers – a tool often used with the incorrect pesticide products and one for which its inappropriate use causes a common fault in inspections.

Also Read: Are livestock farmers to blame for the contamination of water with pesticides?

James added: “These are all new areas that will be coming under focus in the next few years.”