IPM and SUD spell out the latest farming rules

Q&A: Pesticide Control Service, DAFM
IPM and SUD spell out the latest farming rules

From November 26, 2015, a new EU directive governing all aspects of pesticide use, will require all professional users of these products to be registered.

From this date, only a registered professional user or a person operating under the direct supervision of a registered professional user can apply pesticides authorised for professional use, according to the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD).

A professional user is any person who uses pesticides in the course of their professional activities, including farm-ers, operators, technicians, employers and self-employed people, both in the farming and other sectors.

Pesticides will include herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, seed dressings, certain rodenticides etc. Biocides (detergents, etc) are not included yet, but may be in the future.

The overall aims of the SUD are to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment, and promote use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and of alternative approaches or techniques to pesticides.

Teagasc advisers say IPM is essentially good, sound farming practices such as growing competitive, healthy crops; choosing the correct variety; applying pesticides to get the most from them; practicing a good rotation, etc.

The SUD will affect pestic ide advisors, pesticide distributors (merchants) and professional users of pesticides, (farmers, sprayer-operators, spraying companies, and inspectors of sprayer equipment).

There will be an online SUD registration facility available for professional users on the Pesticide Control Service (PCS) website; (www.pcs.agriculture.gov.ie/SUD.htm).

Alternatively, a hard copy form will be available for download from the PCS web-site, which can be completed and returned to the PCS. The SUD is being implemented in Ireland by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.

The PCS has issued the following guidance on Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

¦ What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

>> As defined in the sustainable use of pesticides directive (Directive 2009/128/ EC), ‘integrated pest management’ means careful consideration of all available plant protection methods and sub-sequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of populations of harmful organisms, and keep the use of plant protection products and other forms of intervention to levels that are economically and ecologically justified, and reduce or minimise risks to human health and the environment. ‘Integrated pest management’ emphasises the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agroecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms.

In simpler terms, IPM is a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimises economic, health, and environmental risks.

¦ Who should use IPM?

>> All professional users of Plant Protection Products (PPPs) must operate to the “general principles” of IPM from January 1, 2014. Professional users of PPPs are encouraged to adopt crop specific or sector specific guidelines for the production of certain products.

¦ What is a professional user of PPPs?

>> As defined in the sustainable use of pesticides directive (Directive 2009/128/EC), a ‘professional user’ means any person who uses pesticides in the course of their professional activities, including operators, technicians, employers and self-employed people, both in the farming and other sectors. So, in effect all users of PPPs, except those who merely use PPPs in an amateur context such as private garden use.

¦ What are the general principles of IPM?

>> The general principles of IPM are a set of guiding bases designed to help end users of PPPs to reduce reliance on PPP use and to reduce the risks associated with such use. They are easy to under-stand and easy to implement.

¦ What IPM records will farmer s/growers be required to maintain?

>> Records proving implementation of IPM must be maintained by all farmers/ growers. If using a PPP, the reason for using the PPP should be recorded in the user’s Pesticide Application Record sheet. A “tick box” worksheet has also been designed to enable farmers/ growers demonstrate how they are adopting the general principles of IPM . There are no exemptions from the requirement to maintain these records.

¦ What happens if I do not maintain records?

>> The marketing and use of PPPs is primarily covered by the approval regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009) and the sustainable use of pesticides directive (Directive 2009/128/EC). Both pieces of legislation are covered under Statutory Management Requirement 9 (SMR9), therefore if records are not provided to prove implementation of the general principle of IPM, a percentage disallowance of an individual’s Single Payment will ensue, with a possibility of prosecution.

In situations where the professional end user/grower/ farmer is not a recipient of Single Payment, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine may issue fixed penalty notices or seek to prosecute them through the legal system.

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