Make resistance management a fungicide priority
Crop spraying is well underway on some farms with others yet to start. Recent reports and water quality data indicate that arable farmers are doing a good job in avoiding pesticide contamination of watercourses.
The principal management tools being used are the maintenance of buffer zones, the use of low drift nozzles and the use of STRIPE (Surface Water Tool for Reducing the Impact of Pesticides in the Environment).
The minimum buffer zones are specified on product labels and cannot be reduced unless using low drift technology or reducing pesticide rates.
Most nozzles on professional sprayers are classified for 75pc drift reduction, while some are classified for 90pc reduction and enable the user to reduce the buffer width.
Both the 75pc and 90pc types offer superior placement of pesticide on the target and reduce drift considerably. Older sprayers generally do not have low drift nozzles unless the sprayer was serviced in recent years.
Much of that servicing was done when sprayers underwent their compulsory test in 2016. Sprayers which have not been tested and certified must not be used.
Only trained professional users are allowed to use professional pesticides. If your sprayer is not certified or if you have not completed the training you should employ a qualified contractor to spray.
Avoid spills, stay well back from open drains and rinse empty containers three times into the sprayer. It is important to behave responsibly with pesticides as any misuse may lead to environmental damage and create a poor image for agriculture.