The agricultural industry still has more to do if it is to meet all of the Voluntary Initiative’s targets by the end of March, farmers have been warned.

Any farmers or sprayer operators who have not yet completed a Crop Protection Management Plan or booked a sprayer test are being urged to do so.

“With stiff final targets of 1.2m ha for CPMPs and 80% of the sprayed area for sprayer testing, there is no room for complacency,” said VI manager, Patrick Goldsworthy.

To date it is estimated that CPMPs account for around 630,000ha and some 4,500 sprayers have been tested under the National Sprayer Testing Scheme (NSTS), equivalent to 30% of the arable sprayed acreage.

“CPMP summary sheets need to be returned now and sprayer tests must be booked as soon as possible. If the threat of a pesticide tax is to be kept at bay, the Government will expect the industry to do its best to meet these targets by the end of March,” added Mr Goldsworthy.

According to the VI, the National Register of Sprayer Operators target has already been met, but growers are reminded that maintaining their registration requires 30 Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points.

CPMP summary information can be submitted via www.voluntaryinitiative.org.uk or by email to cpmpreturns@nfu.org.uk