The Government should pay for the new compulsory pesticide training and pesticide equipment inspections, according to Irish Farmers Association (IFA) national grain committee chairman Noel Delany.

Following an EU Directive, farmers, distributors, inspectors and advisors across Ireland are set for compulsory pesticide training and pesticide registration by the Department of Agriculture over the next two years.

Speaking to AgriLand, the IFA grain chairman said the new regulations will significantly affect tillage farmers. “We have a lot of red tape already. It is a plus in terms of good practice and this implementation is happening throughout Europe. But the training needs to take into account the practical situations on the ground. A lot of issues need to be trashed out with the farmers on the ground.”

Delany was critical of the department’s implementation plan. “The directive and plan is acceptable, but the department needs to get moving on it. It is very slow at the moment. There is nothing wrong with the legislation, but more correspondence from the Department of Agriculture is required in terms of information and its implementation. Also the training must be free. It needs to be either subsidised by the State or the EU.”

The Department aims to have all farmers, distributors and inspectors fully trained by November 2015, the National Tillage Crops Forum 2013 heard yesterday. In addition, it plans to have all application equipment inspected by November 2016, and all equipment inspected at least once every five years up to 2020.