'Soft Soap SUD'
We have all been waiting with bated breath for our National Action Plan - a document that each Member State of the EU has to produce to show how the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) would be implemented in their own country.
After all the National Action Plan's (NAP) were published, meetings and more meetings would be held to take the best practice from each document to produce a NAP blueprint document.
This is happening and will be finalised sometime over the next 18 months. When all is said and done, the outcome for the Pesticide Application is disappointing; this was a chance for the Premier League, of contractors especially, to come to the top of the pile.
But due to the current economic climate, the Government was unwilling to 'Gold Plate' EU legislation. We are now left with a diluted SUD where although training, education, storage and all the husbandry that goes with this territory are still given prominence, great leaps forward have not been made.
It is still likely that a BASIS 'letter of exemption' (or Grandfather Clause) will be accepted as 'certificated'. BASIS have decided to issue certificates to these 'Grandfathers' who have 3 years CPD points on 26 Nov 2013.
Those who sell and supply Plant Protection Products must continue to hold the appropriate BASIS Certificate. The opportunity was there to 'beef -up' (no pun intended with 'horse-gate') the areas of Pesticide Application such as:
- More Equipment inspection
- More emphasis on training
- More legal requirements
Lip service is no longer enough. When it comes to accurate Pesticide Application, ALL operators must have gone through PA training to the required standard and should always be able to demonstrate good knowledge of calibration and understand the product they are using.
Where contracts are being let by Local Authorities, the new BASIS Amenity Assured Standard must be brought into play, and those officers writing specifications should hold a BASIS qualification. (See www.basis-reg.com for the range of courses available).
Too often, tired specifications are trotted out, only re-dated, and showing little understanding of what is happening in the weed control world. It is now awash with new formulations, adjuvants and revolutionary chemistry -i.e. Dichlobenil used to give medium longevity control of weeds @ 150 KGs per HA.
Now, the same level of control can be achieved using a THOUSANDTH of this amount - Flazasulfuron @ 150 GRAMMES per HA!
We are entering a new era for Pesticide Application, and we must all be armed appropriately to deal with the demands ahead.
This will mean investing in people, equipment and associated training, which although expensive, ensures the job is carried out to the highest standard possible.
That's surely what it's all about, isn't it?
CWC as a company are committed fully to the AMENITY ASSURED STANDARD, that has been rubber stamped by the government, and is required under the National Action Plan that has been produced following the introduction of the EU Sustainable Use Directive.
The author is Alan Abel. Alan has been a CWC franchisee since 1983 and this year celebrates his 30th year of trading. Alan was involved in the management buyout with fellow franchisee Ian Graham in 2007, with a pledge to drive the business forward.
For more information, please contact Complete Weed Control's National office on 01325 324 277 or visit www.completeweedcontrol.co.uk. You can also follow CWC on Twitter @CWCLimited for much more news, reviews and insightful views.