Video: What to expect from a farm inspection

A farm inspection can be a stressful occasion, especially when records are not in order. Being prepared can help to take some pressure off.

In the video below, AgriLand spoke to James Caplis of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. He outlined a few of the important things to keep in mind, with regard to pesticides in an inspection, at a recent TOPPS event on water quality at Teagasc Kildalton College.

It should be noted that the sprayer in the video is a demonstration sprayer and has never contained chemical products. This means that the demonstrator does not have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and can explain very easily what is going on. This also makes it safer for the onlookers of the demonstration. A full guide on PPE was given to participants.

Record keeping is essential and can make the whole process of inspections a little bit easier.

James explained that under the SMR 10 cross-compliance inspections farmers can expect to be asked for the following:
  • Records of what products they used and where they used them;
  • At what rates products were applied and when they were applied;
  • Who applied the products and with what application equipment were they applied;
  • When was the application tested or is it under five years old.

James continued on to say that farmers must provide evidence of integrated pest management (IPM) having taken place.

The most common infringements on inspections are:
  • Maximum individual dose exceedance;
  • Maximum total dose exceedance;
  • Using products with the incorrect application equipment.

James outlined that many farmers use products, for example, in knapsacks or weed lickers, that do not carry a label for application with this equipment.

“There is only one set of products approved for use through weed wipers or weed lickers in the country and they are professional products containing glyphosate,” James said.

He added that Basic Payment Sanctions are enforced where farmers do not comply on inspections.