Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
You may need a qualification called a certificate of competence if you use agricultural pesticides.
In Northern Ireland you should read chapter 6 of the Code of Good agricultural practice.
In Scotland, read section 2 of the code for using plant protection products to find out if you need a certificate of competence.
From 26 November 2015 Grandfather Rights expire (they may have applied if you spray on your own or your employers land) and pesticide spraying must always be carried out by someone with the appropriate certificate.
In Scotland you must make sure that your pesticide application equipment is tested at least once by 26 November 2016 unless it is less than five years old on that date. Knapsacks and handheld sprayers are exempt from this regulation but must be kept in good condition.
In Scotland you can find details of your nearest sprayer test centre on the National Sprayer Testing Scheme website.
In Northern Ireland you should follow the guidance in section six of the Code of Practice.
In Scotland you must comply with the requirements of GBR 23 - As of 01 January 2018 GBR 23 has been revised. It now only applies to the storage and application of pesticides that are plant protection products and a new rule has been included to allow the application of herbicide to control non-native species of plants on river banks. For more details on the revision of GBR 23 go to the future legislation pages.
You must apply pesticides in accordance with the terms and instructions of the product approval, follow the instructions carefully. You must also spray pesticides in a way that the risk of pollution is minimised.
Prepare the pesticides for spraying, and clean and maintain equipment at least 10 m away from any burn, ditch, river, wetland, loch, estuary or coastal water. If you use water from any of these sources to dilute the pesticide you must use an intermediate container, or fit a device that prevents back siphoning.
You must avoid spraying:
If you carry out aerial spraying you must make sure that:
You must have approval from your environmental regulator before using herbicides on aquatic weeds or weeds on the banks of watercourses such as rivers, ditches or lochs/loughs.
Pesticide must not be applied within 1m of any river, burn, ditch, wetland, loch, transitional or coastal water unless:
For certain pesticides that you apply using ground crop sprayers or broadcast air-assisted sprayers you need to maintain an aquatic buffer strip between the area you spray and watercourses. The product label will specify the width of the buffer strip that you will have to maintain.
Under certain circumstances, and depending on the pesticide used, you may be able to reduce this aquatic buffer.
If you want to reduce the width of this strip you will also need to carry out and record a Local EnvironmentalRisk Assessment for Pesticides (LERAP).
DAERA has produced a guide to help farmers understand the requirements of Integrated Pest Management.
The HSE provides a database of pesticides (includes herbicides, fungicides, molluscicides etc.) where you can find:
and a wide range of other information relating to pesticide use.
How farmers can best manage air quality and ammonia levels, Advice for farmers on managing ammonia levels, while also looking at their environmental responsibilities regarding air quality. This blog has a particular focus on Northern Ireland.
How micro-brewers and distillers can reduce their environmental impact, A blog exploring the environmental obligations and responsibilities of micro-brewers and distillers, with advice on things they should and shouldn't be doing.
View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.