One of the requirements of the UKs Sustainable Use Regulations is thatfrom 26 November 2015, anyone applying professional crop protection productsmust hold a Recognised Certificate, such as the PA1 and 2A or 6A. Thosecurrently operating under Grandfather Rights have two alternatives:
o To apply pesticides on their own land/property orthat of their employer anyone born before 31 December 1964 can take the City& Guilds NPTC Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides ReplacingGrandfather Rights.
o To apply professional products as a contractor orto land not owned by them or their employer, operators must take the existingLevel 2 Safe Use of Pesticides qualification appropriate to the type ofequipment used.
After November 26 2015, professional pesticides should not be purchasedunless the operator holds an appropriate certificate. The alternative is todelegate the task to a spray contractor with appropriate training andequipment.
So far three hundred farmers have obtained the new GrandfatherCertificate, and there has been a surge in interest with the Level 2 Award withan extra 2,700 taking the qualification in the last year.
NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: This is a bit of training thatfarmers like myself will have to undertake this winter. Hopefully everyone willhave reasonably easy access to training and licensing provision.
The NFU has been working with City & Guilds to raise awareness andpromote the uptake of crop spraying relevant qualifications to meet the needsof the changes. I would also suggest talking to neighbours who have done thetraining to ask them for advice as well as contacting your nearest agriculturalcollege.
Red Tractor Assurance Technical Manager Jess Sloss said: The RedTractor Assurance standards for farms are one way our members can ensure thatthey are complying with the law. The standards have recently been revised toinclude the changes introduced by the Sustainable Use Regulations so possessionof a recognised Certificate or use of a suitably qualified contractor isalready being checked during farm assessments.