Industry News

Keep on top of testing rules

sprayer testing

While most sprayers are tested annually as part of crop assurance, other machines outside these schemes and more than five years old, are now likely to need a re-test soon.

“It’s been a legal requirement, since 2016, that all pesticide application equipment requires testing and a re-test at specified dates thereafter,” says Ian Forman, of the National Sprayer Testing Scheme (NSTS).

“But, from 26th November 2020 re-test periods change to every three years. So, it’s vital owners and operators now check the dates carefully, to ensure they still comply with the law,” he adds.

Does your machine need a test?

Boom sprayers 3m wide or over, air blast sprayers, train and aircraft sprayers:

  • From 26th November 2020 all sprayers more than 5 years old must have been tested within the past 3 years
  • Sprayers tested before 26th November 2017 are due a re-test before 26th November 2020
  • Sprayers tested after 26th November 2017 are due a re-test within 3 years
  • Thereafter, all sprayers are due for re-test every 3 years.
sprayer testing

It is also important to note that all new sprayers are due the first test within 5 years and any machines operating in crop assurance schemes will still require annual testing.

Re-test requirements remain unchanged – at 6 yearly cycles – for boom sprayers 3m and under, weed wipers, slug pellet and granular applicators and a range of other machines.

Regular testing is important to ensure safe and accurate application of pesticides to protect the environment and watercourses, which will help safeguard the availability of products for the future. A regularly tested machine will also reduce the risk of breakdowns, when timing of applications can be crucial for efficient control of weeds, pests and diseases.

The need for an integrated pest management (IPM) plan to be carried out helps ensure that when the decision has been made to use a pesticide, that the equipment is calibrated and has been tested to a standard that will apply the product in a safe and sustainable way.

For more information visit www.nsts.org.uk.

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