Some simple steps can take the stress out of the spraying season
We have another spraying season about to commence so it is time to ensure that any mistakes made last season are not repeated this year. First to the simple things:
- Your sprayer must be either less than five years old or have passed a Department approved sprayer test. If your sprayer is not in test you must have it tested. A full list of approved testers is available at http://www.pcs.agriculture.gov.ie/sud/equipmentinspectors/
- The sprayer operator must have completed a sprayer training course and must have a Pesticide User Number(PU). There are still some farmers who have completed the training and have not applied for their PU number. To do so simply log into www.pcs.agriculture.gov.ie/sud/sudreg/ or contact your consultant/advisor.
- Make sure you have last year's pesticide records finalised.
- All empty pesticide containers should be triple rinsed, punctured and flattened before disposal.
Check any notes you may have on efficacy of last year's pesticide applications and review what may have caused any deficiencies in control levels.
Failure of pesticides to give a satisfactory level of control can be due to either the pesticide or the operator.
The pesticide. We still have a wide enough range of pesticides, which when combined with cultural controls, will control all our main weeds, diseases and insect pests. Selection and timing of the most appropriate pesticide is still one of our major challenges.
Limited stock ranges by individual merchants is a problem but most merchants will source most products if given adequate notice . Try to place your orders at least one week in advance of expected spraying date.
Resistance development by individual weeds, diseases and insect pests to pesticides has escalated at an alarming rate in recent years.
The onus is very much on agronomists and farmers to ensure that they adopt the recommended practices to minimise resistance development.
Use of pesticides with different modes of action and avoiding using the same active ingredients in sequence are common practice. However, while you might be adding one or two litres of pesticide to 150/200 litres of water very little thought is given to the quality of water being used.