Current Issues

Keep up to date with what’s in store

A number of important products have been withdrawn and are in use-up periods. Farm owners and operators are responsible for checking changes to authorisations and the dates for the disposal, storage and use. 

Mancozeb
The European Commission has issued Regulation (EU) 2020/2087, confirming the non-renewal of mancozeb. The Regulation, which will enter 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.

Calypso
Authorisations for sale and supply ended on 3rd August 2020
Authorisations for disposal, storage and use end on 3rd February 2021.

Envidor
Authorisations for sale and supply ended on 31st January 2021
Authorisations for disposal, storage and use end on 31st February 2022.

Safe disposal

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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.

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What’s in the water?

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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.

This selective, systemic herbicide has approval for use in a wide range of fruit crops. 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).

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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%)
  • Total detections after 1st February*: 729 (65%)
  • Detections after 1st February*, above 0.1µg/litre: 111 (10%)

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

Note: 1µg = 1 microgram

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


Did 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.

Reduce the risk

Operators must take all precautions to prevent propyzamide reaching water. All pathways matter so you must follow basic water protection advice:

  • Take care when filling and cleaning the sprayer
  • Use 6m grass buffer strip, or 5m no-spray zone, beside water courses
  • Discuss cultivation and spray timing with your BASIS registered adviser
  • Manage soils and tramlines to avoid surface run-off or erosion
  • Do not apply when soils are cracked, dry or saturated
  • Do not apply propyzamide if heavy rainfall is expected within 48 hours of application.

High risk areas

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Operators in High Risk areas – Drinking Water Safeguard Zones – need to follow strict precautions. Discuss how to avoid risks when using propyzamide with your BASIS qualified adviser.

Check if you are in a high risk, DWSZ area using the Environment Agency on-line map click here.

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Protect Drinking Water Safeguard Zones

Operators in Drinking Water Safeguard Zones are advised that risks to water will be significantly reduced if they meet at least five of the following criteria: 

1There is no risk of heavy rainfall within 48 hours of application
2Field drains are not flowing and unlikely to flow within 7 days of application
3Field slope is less than 5% (1m fall in 20m)
4The field is not bordered by a watercourse
5The field has a 6m grass buffer strip adjacent to water
6There are no field drains
7The field has not been deep sub-soiled (below plough layer) or mole-drained within the preceding 6 months
8The crop has been established with true minimum tillage working the top 4 – 6cm only or by direct drilling

The Propyzamide Water Protection Advice Sheet contains all information above, and full stewardship details. Click here to download the Propyzamide Water Protection Advice Sheet.

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Quick Quiz: Propyzamide

Test your knowledge on the application guidelines for propyzamide.

CONTINUE LESSON

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Qualifications and testing

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This lesson provides:
The requirements to meet legal and assurance scheme obligations
The most common NSTS test failure faults
Sprayer check and maintenance tips.

Are you qualified?

The Sustainable Use Regulations legally require any person whose work involves applying professional plant protection products to hold the correct qualifications. 

Those working in farming will need to first pass and gain a PA1 – The principles of safe handling and application of pesticides. Before you can legally apply products, however, you must also hold the appropriate module for the sprayer or applicator, for example a PA6A – For hand-held (knapsack) sprayers.

Hand-held (knapsack) sprayer

PA6A: Operating pedestrian hand-held applicators fitted with hydraulic nozzles or rotary atomisers to apply pesticides to land.


Mounted or trailed variable geometry boom or broadcast sprayer

PA3: Safe application of pesticides with variable geometry boom or broadcast sprayer with or without air assistance.


Granular pesticide applicators

PA4G: Safe application of pelleted or granular pesticides using mounted or trailed applicators.


Mist Blower

PA9B: Applying pesticide mists, less than 100 microns VMD outdoors.

Quick Quiz: PA Qualifications

How well do you know your PA qualifications?

CONTINUE LESSON

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Testing times

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Less than half of all sprayers and applicators pass the NSTS test first time. It’s a poor record that has not improved in the past three years. 

The top three faults, which together account for 67% of all the test failures for fruit sprayers need serious consideration and attention by operators. This is because they will have a significant impact on operator and environmental safety as will as application accuracy.

NSTS engineers will not test unsafe machines and, last year, found nearly one in five of all fruit sprayers entered had damaged or missing guards. An instant fail.

On nearly a third of machines (27%) they could not read the contents gauge and on a fifth of the sprayers (19%) the filters were dirty or missing.

These are very simple, easy and cheap faults to fix. They should also have been picked up during day-to-day operations and regular maintenance checks. This indicates operators and owners are also failing to follow the statutory machine checks to comply with Health & Safety regulations.

NSTS operator check sheet

To help you with your routine maintenance NSTS has updated its useful Operator Check Sheet to now include the additional Red Tractor requirement that sprayers must be calibrated every year. You can download it here.

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Operator Tip: Sprayers are tested at a minimum of 1 bar above normal working pressure. Increase the pressure on your machine when checking for leaks.

Contents gauge – clear and legible

Tested sprayers with fault: 27%


Filters – clean, good condition

Tested sprayers with fault: 21%



Guards – damaged or missing

Tested sprayers with fault: 19%



Tank lid intact, seals intact, strainer fitted

Tested sprayers with fault: 14%



Pressure gauge accuracy

Tested sprayers with fault: 11%


Free from leaks – spraying above working pressure

Tested sprayers with fault: 10%


Free from leaks – static check

Tested sprayers with fault: 9%


DCV leaks

Tested sprayers with fault: 8%


Pressure gauge legible, correct gradations, visible from operator’s position

Tested sprayers with fault: 7%



Operating labels – clear and legible

Tested sprayers with fault: 5%

Quick Quiz: NSTS test

Top tips to pass the NSTS test first time

CONTINUE LESSON

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You have now covered ‘Current Issues’ and should move on to the next topic in this lesson. Please click ‘Mark complete’ to take you to the next topic, ‘Emergency Procedures’.