Sprayer testing targets have been achieved

The National Sprayer Testing Scheme (NSTS) has achieved its target of testing sprayers

The target was set by the Voluntary Initiative, a scheme accepted by the Government in place of a proposed tax on pesticides used in horticulture and agriculture. Between 1 April 2004 and 31 March this year, sprayers responsible for covering at least 50 per cent of the work done in the UK had to be tested. NSTS manager Duncan Russell said: “In only its second year of existence, to reach the substantial target of 50 per cent of sprayed area is no mean achievement. “But we must not rest on our laurels because the next target is 80 per cent of treated area by 31 March.” Tests showed more than half the machines looked at needed some repair or adjustment to achieve the required standard. - Farmers and growers can be helped in their efforts to protect nearby water sources by the new Mecoprop-p “decision tree”. See www.voluntaryinitiative.org.uk.

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