1. Seeking and taking good advice
- Good advice will help every step to best practice, from creating a chemical store, to spraying a crop and disposing of the empty jars. There are many sources of advice – from your BASIS registered supplier or agronomist, to training courses and websites. Always check with your agronomist on the right product to use.
2. Storing and Handling with Care
- An important first step with any pesticide is to read and follow label instructions, taking note of any extra advice given by your BASIS registered agronomist. Remember to store the pesticides safely and securely. Be aware that any spills or splashes on concrete can quickly find their way to water. Always park sprayers under a roof or on a bunded impermeable filling area after use.
3. Managing soil to avoid water run-off into watercourses
- Do not overwork soil; Delay pesticide applications until the first rains have closed deep soil cracks;
- Create tramlines across, NOT down slopes leading to a watercourse;
- Leave some surface vegetation and encourage rapid crop establishment to prevent raindrops from breaking down soil crumbs;
- Ensure field entrances do not create gullies for extra run-off.
4. Handling and disposing to prevent point source pollution
- Choose products which minimise the risk of spills and splashes and ease container cleaning;
- Review your filling area – identify and protect any farmyard drains that could pose a risk to water;
- Handle and mix on an impermeable surface e.g. concrete where washings are collected and drained to grass/ soil (with Groundwater Authorisation) or via a lined Biobed.
- Avoid using field entrances as a filling point if beside a watercourse or any area, e.g. road, track or other feature, which may channel run-off to a watercourse;
- Check the sprayer is in good working order. Use the National Sprayer Testing Scheme (NSTS) and operator checklist. Check for drips and leaks before leaving the mixing area;
- Never leave the sprayer unattended whilst filling;
- Fill using the induction bowl or a closed transfer system where available;
- Pressure or triple wash containers with water and drain into the induction bowl. Rinse seals and lids over the induction bowl. Keep any cardboard clean.
- Store cleaned empty containers safely and upright after use. Follow disposal contractors’s advice on segregating clean packaging material.
5. Field applications to protect water
- Establish a set-aside strip, or buffer-zone, beside any watercourse;
- Do not spray if ground is waterlogged or frozen ; Avoid conditions where spray drift can occur and use nozzles which reduce drift;
- Do not spray over buffer zones and watercourses;
- Spray headlands last;
- Ensure cleaning activities take place away from watercourse;
- Spray tank washings on the to the crop;
- Wash the outside of the sprayer before leaving the field;
- Keep tyres as mud free as possible, cleaning them before leaving the field.