As the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD)’s legislation changes around sprayer testing near, Neil Adams, head of training at Lely UK, explains how it will affect grounds professionals and offers advice on how to prepare.
Coming into effect on 26 November 2016, the SUD requires that all active pesticide application equipment has an NSTS Certificate.
NSTS is the National Sprayer Testing Scheme for the UK and satisfies the sprayer testing requirements of the SUD, which, mandatory throughout the EU, is designed to further enhance the high level of protection achieved through the entire regulatory system for pesticides.
Outlining what the new legislation entails, Neil said: “The NSTS test will become a requirement for all boom sprayers by 2016 under the requirements of the SUD.
“The legislation change applies to all sprayers, aside from knapsack and hand-held,” Neil stresses. “This includes boom, air blast and all vehicle mounted sprayers, as well as ATV mounted and those of less than three metres boom width.”
By 2020 sprayers of three metres boom width or more with an existing NSTS Certificate must have been tested within the past five years, by which point the requirement for re-testing reduces to every three years.
Sprayers of less than three metres boom width, however, only need to be tested every six years after 2020.
Continuing, Neil outlines the main benefits of sprayer testing: “The test not only ensures the efficiency of your sprayer, reduces costly downtime and creates savings in chemical usage, it also contributes to operator safety and accurate application.”
The comprehensive NSTS test consists of 47 test items – the first 30 of which must be satisfied to receive a pass certificate – and covers all the application components of the sprayer to ensure the machine is working correctly and efficiently with further considerations of safety for the sprayer operative and the environment.
Prior to the sprayer testing legislation changes, pesticide application has been hot topic in the turfcare industry since regulations that implement the SUD came into effect in the UK.
Neil goes on to explain: “Other important updates in the grounds industry include changes in ‘grandfather rights’, which came into effect November 2015.
“Previously, anyone born before 31 December 1964 did not need a specified Certificate of Competence (CoC) to apply professional plant protection products (PPP). As of now, however, everyone requires a CoC to apply pesticides,” he adds.
For more information on Toro’s range of sprayers or for advice on legislation changes, contact Toro distributor Lely on 01480 226800, email [email protected] or visit www.lelyturfcare.co.uk for further details.