15 June 2001

A testing way to save cash

Sprayer testing may not only

help stave off the introduction

of a punitive pesticide tax, it

can save growers hard cash.

Peter Hill describes the

scheme and sets out where

sprayers can be given that

all-important inspection

IT seems bizarre that a machine charged with handling thousands of £s worth of pesticides each year will often undergo the most cursory of checks before it is put to use.

Which is reason enough to sign-up to the AEA Sprayer Test Scheme, a voluntary programme for farmers and growers wanting to ensure that pesticides are used both responsibly and economically.

Initially introduced with a two-year inspection cycle, the scheme has been stepped up a gear to include annual testing as part of a package of measures put forward by the Crop Protection Association on behalf of the farming industry to discourage introduction of the proposed pesticide tax.

The AEA target is to have 50% of an estimated 25,000 eligible sprayers being tested under the scheme by the end of 2004, with all sprayers covered within another two years. A tall order indeed given that just over 2000 sprayers have been tested since the scheme was introduced two years ago.

But Duncan Russell, services manager at AEA, the farm machinery industrys trade organisation, believes there are sound economic arguments for growers having their machines tested, quite apart from any environmental and crop assurance benefits that may result from using a sprayer fully tuned to the task.

"Some 35% of sprayers tested so far have needed some work doing to achieve the standard required and the most frequent reason for failure is worn – and therefore inaccurate – nozzles," he points out. "As that leads to over-application of pesticides, there are clearly savings to be made. I calculate that growers in this situation would recoup the typical £125 cost of the test over 25ha of wheat or just 7ha of potatoes.

"It is easy to under-estimate the effect on spraying performance and economics that an apparently minor maladjustment or faulty component can make." &#42

Having sprayers checked over and tested each year should ensure they are properly equipped and working correctly – the benefit of the environment and spraying economics.

AEA approved sprayer test centres

Tests are usually performed on-farm and, by agreement, can be followed by any rectification work or parts replacement needed to achieve a pass, as well as a general service.

Aberdeenshire

Robertson Crop Services, Cuminestown, Turriff. Tel: 01888-544666. Contact: John Forrest.

Angus

Wallace of Kelso, Glamis, Forfar. Tel: 01307-840681. Contact: Jim Pitkeathly.

Bedfordshire

L W Vass (Agricultural), Maulden. Tel: 01525-403041

Contact: Mark Stanbridge.

Cambridgeshire

&#42 L Hutchinson, Wisbech. Tel: 01945-461181

Contact: Barry Shearman.*

Anglia Sprayers, Ely. Tel: 01353-666615

Contact: Geoff Miles.

Cornwall

Cornwall Farmers, Praze On The Beeble, Camborne. Tel: 01209-831404 Contact: Graham Denning.

Cornwall Farmers, St Austell. Tel: 01726-890666

Contact: Brian Tripcony.

Spraytest.co.uk, Newbridge, Truro. Tel: 01872-262850

Contact: John Sandys.**

Cumbria

Rickerby, Carlisle. Tel: 01228-527521 Contact: Allan Morris/Maurice Lamb

Rickerby, Penrith. Tel: 01768-863718

Contact: Allan Morris/Maurice Lamb.

Devon

Kings Farm Machinery, Bampton, Tiverton. Tel: 01398-331091

Contact: Graham Smith.

Masons of Chudleigh, Newton Abbot. Tel: 01626-852140

Contact: Mark Beer.

Durham

E A Clayton, Carlton, Stockton-on-Tees. Tel: 01740-630254.

Contact: George Jordan.

East Lothian

Crop Chemicals, Drem, North Berwick. Tel: 01620-842170

Contact: Graeme Foggo.

G Reekie Group, Tranent. Tel: 01875-615355.

Contact: Alan Ramsay.

Sprayer Care, Dunbar. Tel: 07801-189145

Contact: George Wilson.

Essex

Billericay Farm Services, Downham. Tel: 01268-710237

Contact: Simon Compton.

Coleman Engineering (Machinery), Barnston, Dunmow. Tel: 01371-876391

Contact: Simon Eggleton.

Ernest Doe, Ulting. Tel: 01245-380311

Contact: Chris Brown.

Framlingham Tractors, Horsley Cross, Manningtree. Tel: 01206-391651

Contact: Service manage.

Spraytec, Thaxted, Dunmow. Tel: 01279-812727

Contact: Robert Webb.*

Fife

G Reekie Group, Cupar. Tel: 01334-652445.

Contact: Brian Cristisan.

Gloucestershire

Kellands Agricultural Spraying Supplies, Birdlip. Tel: 01452-863900

Contact: Simon Levick.

Hampshire

B B Farm Services, Timsbury, Romsey. Tel: 01794-368364

Contact: Bill Baker.

Collyers Services, Hambledon. Tel: 023-9263 2202

Contact: John Davy.

Herefordshire

Technicrop, Phocle Green, Ross-on-Wye. Tel: 01989-780500

Contact: Richard Green.

Highland

Robertson Crop Services, Kildary, Invergordon. Tel: 01862-842552

Contact: Simon Jackson.

Kent

Agwood, Swingfield, Dover. Tel: 01303-844682

Contact: Dave Hearsey.

Willow Agricultural Engineers, Newchurch, Romney Marsh. Tel: 01303-874490

Contact: Simon Knott.

Lancashire

Chemical & Agricultural Services, Halsall, Ormskirk. Tel: 01704-840060

Contact: Chris Littler.

Lincolnshire

Boston Crop Sprayers, Frampton Fen, Boston. Tel: 01205-368500

Contact: Colin Buckley.

Cleanacres Northern Machinery, Crowle, Scunthorpe. Tel: 01724-711100

Contact: Terry Royston.*

Farmstar, Brigg. Tel: 01652-654944

Contact: Service manager.

L W Househam, Leadenham, Lincoln. Tel: 01400-272519

Contact: Nigel Greeves.

Maltby Group, Boston. Tel: 01205-722371

Contact: Mark Bespicht.

Maltby Group, Lincoln. Tel: 01522-790720 Contact: Mick Denton.

Parker Agricultural, Brigg. Tel: 01652-650600

Contact: John Watt.

Peacock & Binnington, Brigg. Tel: 01652 600200

Contact: Derek Blow.

Sands Agricultural Services, Holbeach. Tel: 01406-422606

Contact: Neal Sands.

Spraycare, Roughton Moor, Woodhall Spa. Tel: 01526-353671

Contact: Gary Avison.

Norfolk

Agrovista UK, Walsingham, Fakenham. Tel: 01328-820444

Contact: Trevor Johnson.*

Sands Agricultural Machinery, Brunstead, Stalham. Tel: 01692-580522

Contact: Neal Sands.

Sands Agricultural Services, Swaffham. Tel: 01760-722772

Contact: Neal Sands.

Northamptonshire

Farol, Byfield, Daventry. Tel: 01327-264900

Contact: Philip Jenkinson.

Tallwin Services, East Haddon. Tel: 01604-770807

Contact: Peter Wise.

Northumberland

Rickerby, Alnwick. Tel: 01665-603631

Contact: Trevor Crozier/Alan Morris/Maurice Lamb.

Rickerby, Cornhill On Tweed. Tel: 01890-883333

Contact: Allan Morris/Maurice Lamb.

Rickerby, Tyne Green, Hexham. Tel: 01434-604131

Contact: Allan Morris/Maurice Lamb.

Nottinghamshire

John Deere, Langar. Tel: 01949-860491 Contact: Chris Meacock.

Maltby Group, Newark. Tel: 01636-688688

Contact: Steve King.

Platts Harris Agricultural Group, Tuxford, Newark. Tel: 01777-870111

Contact: Dick Malone.

Oxfordshire

Farol, Milton Common, Oxford. Tel: 01844-278843

Contact: Nick Porat.

Lister Wilder, Crowmarsh, Wallingford. Tel: 01491-838388

Contact: Gary Hayden.

R Tincknell & Sons, Clanfield, Bampton. Tel: 01367-810466

Contact: David Harrison.

Perth & Kinross

G Reekie Group, Perth. Tel: 01738-622471.

Contact: Bryan Gregory.

Rutland

Knight Farm Machinery, South Luffenham, Oakham. Tel: 01780-722200

Contact: Steve Sissons.**

Scottish Borders

Crop Services (Scotland), Maxwellheugh, Kelso. Tel: 01573-224241

Contact: Douglas Stephen.

Wallace of Kelso, Kelso. Tel: 01573-224131

Contact: David Paul.

Shropshire

Central Crop Sprayer Services, Whitchurch. Tel: 01948-840187

Contact: Chris Boughey.

Spratec, Stirchley Park, Telford. Tel: 01952-405871

Contact: Simon Ward.

Stirling

G Reekie Group, Stirling. Tel: 01786-445577

Contact: Brian Sangster.

Suffolk

Agrispray, Bury St Edmunds. Tel: 01284-724455

Contact: Michael Monk.

Blyth & Pawsey, Burwell. Tel: 01638-743384

Contact: Nigel Barker.

Framlingham Tractors, Framlingham, Woodbridge. Tel: 01728-723963 Contact: Ian Snowden.

Framlingham Tractors, Swainsthorpe, Norwich. Tel: 01508-471234

Contact: Service manager.

Mitchell-Rowlands, Buxhall, Stowmarket. Tel: 01449-736300

Contact: Graham Mitchell-Rowlands.

Thurlow Nunn Standen, Elmswell, Bury St Edmunds. Tel: 01359-240725

Contact: Albert Hayward.

Sussex

Chichester Tractors, Runcton, Chichester. Tel: 01243-531298

Contact: Tim Butler.

Warwickshire

Chemiculture, Bishops Itchington, Leamington Spa. Tel: 01926-613889

Contact: Martin Shelton.

John Rhodes Agricultural Services, Barcheston, Shipston-on-Stour. Tel: 01608-663336

Contact: John Rhodes.

Wiltshire

Farol, Pewsey. Tel: 01672-562525.

Contact: Andy Dobson.

R Tincknell & Sons, Devizes. Tel: 01380-722191

Contact: Adrian Philpotts.

R Tincknell & Sons, Wilton, Salisbury. Tel:01722-743722

Contact: John Kitley.

Yorkshire

Benest Technologies, Swinefleet, Goole. Tel: 01724-798237

Contact: Graham Basil.*

Farmstar, Marr, Doncaster. Tel: 01302-786786

Contact: Ian Husler.

Farmstar, Market Weighton. Tel: 01430-875900

Contact: Service manager.

Fieldcare, Felixkirk, Thirsk. Tel: 01845-537555

Contact: S Bishop.

Kilnwick Sprayers, Thorpe-le-Street, York. Tel: 01430-871222

Contact: Mark Oglesby.

NDSM, Kirkbymoorside. Tel: 01751-431332

Contact: Nigel Metcalfe.*

Spray-Trac Systems, Marton-cum-Grafton, Boroughbridge. Tel: 01423-322377

Contact: Murray Allen.

Wilfred Scruton, Foxholes, Driffield. Tel: 01262-470221

Contact: Guy Scruton.

*Also equipped to test granule applicators.

**These operators provide a national service, often through local machinery dealers.

For latest information, phone Duncan Russell at the AEA on 01733-362925.