Cereals 2009: National Sprayer Testing Scheme success

More than 80% of the farmland area sprayed in the past year was treated using a machine which had been tested under the National Sprayer Testing Scheme.

The testing of more than 13,200 machines by 554 examiners at 330 test centres represented the most successful year in the scheme’s history, said NSTS manager Duncan Russell.

Overall, that represents 82.6% of area sprayed.

“It is a complete vindication of the scheme, and a demonstration of how important it has become in satisfying various crop assurance and retailer protocols,” Mr Russell added.

Having a sprayer tested ensured maximum efficiency and provided assurance that a farmer was committed to good farming practice and supplying safe, quality food, he said.

Most common faults included:

  • Leaks and drips – diaphragm check valves faulty in 25% of machines; static leaks (20%)
  • Faulty contents gauge (25%)
  • Safety-related items – incomplete and missing PTO guards (10%)

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