Sprayer 'NCT' has lots of positives
The benefits of the new sprayer regime will outweigh the red-tape and costs, writes Derek Casey
From next year onwards things are going to get more regulated in the world of sprayers.
The additional red tape will come as part of the introduction of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive (SUD) by the Department of Agriculture.
The directive states that by November 2016, all boom sprayers greater than 3m and all blast and orchard sprayers will need to have been tested and certified by a registered inspector at least once.
If your sprayer doesn't meet the required standard in terms of safety and application it will either have to be repaired or decommissioned.
So how many operators will the new rules affect? The Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association estimates that there are around 40,000 sprayers currently in use in the country.
That figure comprises a vast majority that will either be tractor mounted or trailed sprayers, with a very small number of large self-propelled sprayers in the mix as well.
Regardless of output capacity, once your sprayer has a boom width greater than 3m you are obliged to have your machine inspected. Sprayers will have to be tested once every five years until 2020 and once every three years thereafter.
While the new regulations will certainly add red tape, there are some sizeable positives that shouldn't be overlooked.