DEMAND FOR sprayer operator training courses as part of the Voluntary Initiative H2OK? Think Water campaign is exceeding expectations, according to some organisers.

Nationally, around 40-50 events per week are currently being held, with all the main distributors involved, said Patrick Goldsworthy, Voluntary Initiative manager.

“We are extremely pleased with progress, it really shows people are taking NRoSO [National Register of Sprayer Operators] seriously,” he said.

Strong demand from growers looking to fulfil their NRoSO requirements means additional courses have had to be scheduled, reported one provider, Agrovista.

“Demand from sprayer operators is huge,” said the firm‘s Chris Glover. “It is only half way through January and the planned number of events is already at the level we ran in the whole of 2004.”

But while it was encouraging to see such a good uptake of courses, farmers and sprayer operators must put the information into practice, he said.

“… now is the time to put the knowledge into practice. We must be mindful of the fact that the threat of a pesticide tax has not gone away.”

Members of NRoSO will be awarded 6 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points and delegates who are BASIS-qualified will receive 6 CPD points towards the BASIS Professional Register, the company said.