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Best Practice when using Pesticides

Best Practice when using Pesticides

It is important that all users take care and follow best practice procedure when using pesticides. Deirdre Glynn, ASSAP Advisor and Mark Trimble, Tillage Advisor, Kilkenny discuss safe storage and handling of chemicals, good sprayer maintenance and best practice when using pesticides on farm.

Clean water supports life, our economy and drinking water needs, so our actions on land affect the quality of our water.  Implementing best practice when storing, handling and using pesticides is critical.

Chemcials , sprayers and buffer zones

Chemicals should be kept in a secure lockable store where leaks and spills are containable. Sprayers should be tested, well maintained, regularly calibrated and never filled directly from a watercourse. Compliance with buffer zones is a fundamental requirement of the Sustainable Use Directive. Buffer zones apply to all waterbodies and these are defined as a feature capable of holding water permanently or at any point during the year. Buffers are measured from the top of the bank and at a minimum of 1m in all cases.

Key Points

  • Always consult the label of the product in use for the correct buffer, in the case of MCPA it is 5 metres
  • Spray when conditions are suitable, on a calm day, with dry vegetation. Check in advance the weather forecast to ensure no heavy rainfall is forecasted within 48 hours
  • Ensure all chemical containers are triple rinsed and washings disposed of in a suitable location

Monitoring of drinking water in Ireland continues to detect exceedances above the standard for certain herbicides. Although the trends in the annual results are positive and clearly show a reduction in exceedances and supplies affected, the efforts by all stakeholders must continue.

In the short video below Deirdre Glynn, ASSAP Advisor and Mark Trimble, Tillage Advisor, discuss best practice pesticide use.

Read more here about Protecting water from pesticide losses & Schemes  Find out about the ASSAP – Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme here