Amenity Forum releases guides for pesticide users

The Amenity Forum has launched a series of best practice guidance notes on key issues around the use of pesticides.

Covering water protection, handling and storage, equipment testing and public areas, the notes are being widely distributed throughout the sector, said Amenity Forum chairman John Moverley.

The forum has agreed that best practice must be to prevent any run-off by using a series of methods including knowing the location of drains, watercourses and vulnerable groundwater, using targeted treatments and not applying pesticides in bad weather.

In addition, all equipment must be adequately maintained, in good working order and calibrated, drift while spraying should be prevented by using low-drift nozzles or shrouded booms and dilute pesticides should be disposed of in accordance with the product label.

Although EU legislation has introduced mandatory testing of pesticides application equipment, the forum's guidance note sets out that best practice dictates considering equipment testing at more frequent intervals.

With regard to boom spraying equipment, best practice would be to get equipment tested every 12 months, it advises. Moverley added that further guidance was being developed.

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