Arable – Lesson 1: Current Issues

The online Annual Training is divided into four lessons.

  • Lesson 1 Current Issues. This covers items that are in the national news, changes to product registrations and latest advice on protecting water.
  • Lesson 2 Tests and Training. Here you can check you have the right qualifications to operate pesticide applicators on different equipment as well as the requirements to meet legal and assurance scheme obligations. It also looks at the most common NSTS test failure faults and provides tips on sprayer checks and maintenance.
  • Lesson 3 Prevent Pest Trouble in Store provides advice on the safe and effective way to control a range of pests and rodents in store. It looks at how cleanliness and vigilance will provide protection, but in some cases pesticide treatments and rodenticides will be required.
  • Lesson 4: Safe and Legal on the Road provides all the information you need to keep on the right side of the law. You will learn about licence requirements and trailer tests as well as width and speed limits, weight limits, roadworthiness and what you need to do to comply with health and safety law. It also provides advice on driving courteously and spells out what will happen if you are caught using mobile phones while driving. There are also full details of emergency procedures you need to follow

Lesson 1 – Current Issues:

This lesson covers items that are in the national news, changes to product registrations and the latest advice on protecting water.

Keep up to date with what’s in store


The approval of epoxiconazole ended on 30th April 2020.

CRD has allowed the full grace period available and has set the timescales for withdrawing authorisations:

  • Authorisations for sale and supply ended on 31st October 2020
  • Authorisations for disposal, storage and use ends on 31st October 2021.

The main concern is the risk to birds and it’s important operators follow the CRD’s recommended voluntary measures to mitigate this risk.

  • Do not apply products containing epoxiconazole at 83g as/ha or higher to cereals before growth stage 40.

Fenpropimorph – reminder

  • Authorisations for sale and supply ended on 31st October 2019
  • Authorisations for disposal, storage and use ended on 31st October 2020


The European Commission has issued Regulation (EU) 2020/2087, confirming the non-renewal of mancozeb. The Regulation, which entered into force on 4th January 2021, confirms a grace period of six months for the sale and distribution of Mancozeb products and a subsequent additional six months for the use of stocked Mancozeb products.

  • Authorisations for sale and distribution will end on 4th July 2021
  • Authorisations for disposal, storage and use will end on 4th January 2022.

These grace periods will now be locally interpreted by each Member State. In the vast majority of Member States, these EU grace periods will allow for the sales and use of Mancozeb during the entire 2021 season. Currently the UK is following the same regulations.


A withdrawal notice for bromoxynil was issued on 27th November 2020.

  • Authorisations for sale and distribution will end on 17th March 2021
  • Authorisations for disposal, storage and use will end on 17th September 2021

Safe disposal

Operators should keep detailed stock records – both inside and outside the store. These must show whether any products mentioned are still in stock and require using up within time limits and will now need to go for safe disposal.

Further details from the Voluntary Initiative explain how to responsibly dispose of pesticides are available here.

What’s in the water?

Detections of propyzamide in water, above the drinking water standard this past spring cause concern. Records from 20 water companies in the UK reveal propyzamide was detected in water 1,123 times between 1st January and 30th April 2020.

A key herbicide used in oilseed rape (but not exclusively in this crop), it has a permitted application window from 1st October to 31st January.

Note: The drinking water standard is 0.1µg/l (0.1 micrograms/litre)

This chart, of the records from 20 water companies in the UK, reveals the level of propyzamide detections across the country compared with other actives:

Recorded detections:

  • Total detections: 1,123 recorded between 1st January and 30th April 2020
  • Total detections above 0.1µg/litre: 161 (15%) above 0.1µg/ 729 (65%)
  • Total detections after 1st February*: 729 (65%)
  • Detections after 1st February, above 0.1µg/litre: 111 (10%)

Notes: 1µg = 1 microgram

* Permitted application window is 1st October to 31st January

Unless extreme care is taken to prevent propyzamide reaching watercourses there is a serious risk that the use of products with this active ingredient will be restricted.

You can download Water Protection Advice Sheets from the Voluntary Initiative here.

Reduce the risk

  • Take care when filling and cleaning the sprayer
  • Use 6m grass buffer strip, or 5m no-spray zone, beside watercourses
  • Discuss cultivation and spray timing with your BASIS registered adviser
  • Manage soils and tramlines to avoid surface run-off or erosion.

Quick Quiz: Problems with propyzamide

In this mini quiz, we would like you to think about how you might reduce the detection of propyzamide in water. Check each answer, then move on to the next question until you finish the quiz to find out your overall score.


Click here to download the propyzamide Water Protection Advice Sheet

Operator tip: Cut a plastic barrel in half to place under the induction hopper to catch any splashes or spills.

Do you know…

To dilute one drop of active ingredient to below the 0.1 microgram/litre, safe drinking water standard requires a volume of water that is 2m wide, 10m long and 50cm deep.

Well done, you have reached the end of Lesson 1 – Current Issues and you now need to complete the end of lesson test. You should not move on to the next lesson, until you take this test. You will need 80% to pass. You can re-sit the test as many times as it takes to pass. Once you have passed this test, you can move on to lesson 2.

To start the test, click on ATC: Arable: End of Lesson 1 Test (Compulsory) below: