18 January 2002

Applicator aptitude

ABOUT two in five granular applicators put on the wrong dose, says the AEA, prompting it to launch a series of training courses for machinery fitters as an extension of its sprayer testing service.

Accurate application is vital to get the best from granules like nematicide Nemathorin (fosthiazate), save money and protect the environment, says trainer Graham Basil of Benest Technologies.

The main reason for over-dosing, which regularly tops 25%, is wear or damage to the feed rotors, says the AEAs Duncan Russell. "When you are dealing with expensive products like these the cost of testing can very soon be recouped."

Machinery testing is an important part of the measures taken by the CPA to avoid a pesticides tax, adds Ben Miles crop campaign manager for Syngenta, which hosted the first workshop at its headquarters in Whittles-ford, Cambs, last week. &#42

Trainer Graham Basil (right) and Richard Batchelor, service engineer with Norfolk-based Sands Ag Machinery, get to grips with nematicide applicator settings.