Test scheme launch
THE Agricultural Engineers Asso-ciation chose Sprays and Sprayers to launch its voluntary national sprayer test scheme.
An MoT style test, it says it is intended to sustain public confidence in British produce and crop protection, by raising the standard of second-hand equipment.
"Sprayers will need testing every two years and the scheme will ensure those participating keep machines maintained to the highest standard," explained AEAs Ron Saunders.
During the next 12 months, the association aims to establish 20 test stations in the UK. The first in the scheme is Cambs-based HL Hutchinson which ran its own sprayer check programme last year, and sees the AEAs programme as a positive step forward.
"The test will save farmers money in the long run by avoiding breakdowns and applying chemical more accurately," says David Hutchinson.
"Each test will cost between £150-£190 depending on the model and this fee includes labour for any extra work needed on the sprayer. The only additional outlay a customer will have, is for parts."
John Bouckley of the HSE also endorses the AEA scheme – as long as it stays voluntary. "Should it become mandatory, there is a danger that once a sprayer has been certificated, the regular maintenance and checking processes already being carried out will simply stop."