11 September 1998

Rush to meet pesticide regs?

NEXT spring could bring a last minute rush for equipment to help growers meet tighter pesticide rules.

Although still subject to parliamentary discussion, new regulations aimed at implementing a 1980 European Directive protecting groundwater (Arable, June 17) will come into force in January or April 1999, predicts Alan Barnden of the Environment Agency.

But as yet there are no clear guidelines on what specific measures may have to be taken to help growers dispose of waste water safely, he notes.

Options include on-board decontamination equipment for sprayers, bio-beds as already used in Sweden and specialist equipment such as the Sentinel. "But so far there have been no definitive decisions on what is acceptable."

Morley Research Centre director, Jim Orson, plans an autumn meeting of all interested parties to determine which methods are likely to be suitable for specific circumstances.

Eliminating surplus spray solution by estimating field requirements accurately and minimising sprayer washings are key points, he says. &#42