The Farmers’ Union of Wales is reminding farmers that after Thursday November 26, those using plant protection products (PPP) for professional use, on their own or their employer’s land, must have a certificate of competence.
Prior to November 26, an exemption in UK law allowed individuals born before the December 31, 1964, to use PPPs without obtaining a certificate.
“All operators should have had training and hold an appropriate qualification for the equipment they are using, such as weed wipers, boom sprayers, or knapsacks, once the “grandfather rights” come to an end,” said FUW education and training committee chairman Alun Edwards .
The union is further stressing that it will be an offence for anyone to purchase PPPs authorised for professional use unless they have ensured that the end user has a certificate of competence after the November deadline. In addition, the FUW advises members that before carrying out any spray application activities, it is important that all alternative options have been identified and where possible adopted. Cross compliance regulations and Glastir rules on habitat and option management regarding pesticide use must be adhered to.
“It is also important to risk assess the site where you will be handling chemicals, especially in those areas where you fill and clean your equipment. If you use the same site on a regular basis for this please be aware that they can easily be the source of serious water pollution. Even if you are using an induction hopper as you fill your sprayers it is advisable to have drip trays to catch any spillage and absorbent material, such as sand, sawdust or cat litter must be available to catch any spillage. Remember that all contaminated material needs to be treated and disposed of appropriately as it may be classed as hazardous waste,” added Alun.
For further advice on the disposal of hazardous waste please contact Natural Resources Wales (NRW).