FROM Apr 1, tank and sprayer cleaning achieves a new significance.
Under the new Groundwater Regulations, disposal of pesticide contaminated water, other than by spraying on a crop or land within a label approval, requires Environment Agency authorisation.
"The secret is to clean the sprayer in the field," says Patrick Goldsworthy of the British Agrochemicals Association. If the sprayer has no rinse tank and rinse nozzles, it is a good idea to get them fitted "Sprayers with boom recirculation have an added advantage, too."
Triple rinsing is best. Add a quarter of the rinse tank water to the sprayer tank and circulate it through the tank rinse nozzles for several minutes. Spray the rinsate on to crop that has not received a full approved dose of product.
Repeat with half the rinse volume, adding a manufacturer-approved tank cleaning additive and fill the boom line and tank rinse for 15 minutes before spraying out.
Add the last quarter of rinse water before circulating for a few minutes and spraying out. If a jet wash or hose reel and brush is fitted, clean the outside of the sprayer during the last rinsing.
If you do not have tank rinse nozzles, the preferred option is to use an in-field bowser for triple rinse water. Fill the sprayer tank to 4% of capacity before circulating and brush round the upper tank before spraying out. Then wash the outside of the sprayer.
For sulfonyl ureas, however, the second rinse must have a full tank of water, cleaning additive and a purged boom. *
• Wash tank and sprayer in the treated field.
• Use tank rinse nozzles whenever possible.
• Boom recirculation improves cleaning.
• Wash sprayer with hose reel and brush or jet.
• Do not let rinsings enter soakaway or drain.