19 November 2001
Learn to keep sprays out of water

By Tom Allen-Stevens

A SERIES of new workshops, aimed at reinforcing messages on the importance of protecting water courses from pesticides, is due to hit the road next week.

The training workshops, organised by the Crop Protection Association, will focus on informing sprayer operators of the pollution potential of farmyard activities.

CPAs Richard Trow-Smith told FWi that many operators do not realise how easy it is to breach legal limits.

“Just three drops of neat pesticide spilt in a farmyard that finds its way to a drain can pollute a days drinking supply of a city the size of London.”

He said that all operators should consider attending a workshop: “Many of the UKs most experienced operators may have picked up some bad habits.

“The chap in the tractor seat is the final decider of where the pesticide ends up. We want to make sure it all goes on the crop and not down a water course.”

The training is one of a series of measures agreed by the CPA with the government as a voluntary package to avoid a pesticide tax.

The decision not to impose a tax will be constantly reviewed against the success of these measures, which include a pesticide usage survey, currently under way.

“The more operators who attend the course, the more spraying practice will improve and the happier the government will be,” said Mr Trow-Smith.

New information from recent research will be revealed at the workshops which are due to start at Ross-on-Wye next Tuesday (27 November).

Most will be held just before Christmas and in the New Year and the CPA promises that they involve “practical exercises and are highly participative”.

Costing 25, including VAT, the workshops are hosted by local pesticide distributors or UK Agricultural Supply Trade Association merchants.

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