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Pesticide Management

Pesticides, in the wrong or untrained hands can be extremely dangerous to both human health and the environment. This has led to pesticides being subject to stringent legislation covering their:

  • Usage
  • Storage
  • Handling
  • Disposal of pesticides and their wastes

Safe and responsible chemical storage is therefore a key element of protecting both humans and the wider environment, with the legislation imbedded in cross compliance and farm assurance standards. Good housekeeping and management of the store can also help reduce costs and can also reduce the risk of incurring potentially costly penalties.

Why is the safe storage, management and handling of pesticides important?

  • Good management ensures all waste is handled in a way that protects people and also the environment e.g. with one dropped foil lid is capable of polluting 30km of stream (DEFRA).
  • Good stock control can prevent surplus chemicals being purchased.
  • Condition of chemicals and their containers can be monitored, preventing spillages or costly disposal charges.
  • Chemicals which are in the process of being revoked can be identified and either utilised or disposed of before their legal use by date.
  • Knowing the exact contents of the store is vital to identify theft or for emergency services to respond in the correct way.

As pesticides and their use come under increasing scrutiny, the number of active ingredients losing their approvals is increasing meaning it is even more important for producers to become as informed as possible and be able to keep track of the contents of their stores, ensuring that no illegal pesticides are present.

It is illegal to store chemicals after the expiry date for the safe storage and usage has passed.

As well as potential sanction from the Health and Safety Executive, this is also a breach of cross compliance (SMR 10) with reductions applied to subsidy payments by SGRPID. This would also cause significant issues with farm assurance. In addition disposal of the illegal chemicals can be costly requiring an authorised carrier who is registered with SEPA.

What records do you need to keep?

Are your pesticides legal?

Expiring pesticides

What should you do with pesticides nearing their expiry date?

What's on a label?

All pesticide containers are required to be properly labelled.

Pesticide Stores

Chemical store design and general management are important to ensure the risk to health and the wider environment are minimised.

Pesticide Containers: Cleaning & Disposal

Dirty, empty chemical containers are deemed hazardous waste therefore careful consideration must be given to the safe handling and disposal of pesticide containers.

Know Your Nozzles

Sprayer nozzles play a vital role in ensuring pesticide applications reach the right target at the right rate.

Buffer Zones

When applying pesticides, Buffer Zones have been used for a number of years to help protect water environments.

How to conduct a LERAP

Local Environmental Risk Assessment for Pesticides (LERAP) allow sprayer operators to reduce the buffer zones shown on some product labels.

Using herbicides safely as part of a sustainable rush control program

Good weed control in grassland is just as important as it is in an arable field, whether it is a young sward trying to compete with broadleaved weeds or, in an older established sward where docks or rushes have crept in.

Need to contact SEPA?  Call the Hotline 0800 80 70 60

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