And with next week the June 22 deadline for those who use pesticides to register their details with Defra, Sarah Cowie, NFU Scotland’s environmental resources policy manager, outlined the actions needed to meet the new requirements.
She said the Official Control (Plant Protection Products) Regulations 2020 were already in force and required all agricultural businesses using pesticides to register their details by next week’s deadline on the Defra website.
“If you use pesticides and adjuvants on your farm, you are legally required to register your business name, all addresses where pesticides are stored and an estimate of the volume of pesticides you use,” Cowie said, writing on the union’s blog.
She added that anyone using such products for the first time after June 22, or who started selling pesticides, had to register within three months of starting.
“You only need to register once. If there is a significant change in the use of pesticides by your business, such as a change of business address or the closure of the business, you must notify Defra,” she added.
She also pointed out that the registration deadline represented a statutory deadline. “Failure to comply without a reasonable excuse is an offence. If you miss the deadline, you should submit your form as soon as possible,” she said – adding that the union would notify members of any future changes to registration requirements.
And she added that the definition of a “professional user” covered any person or company that used pesticides in the course of their professional activities: “You are considered a professional user if you work in agriculture, or forestry in Great Britain and use professional pesticides and any adjuvants in the course of your work, including if you are contracted to spray pesticides on the land of others; have a third party apply professional pesticides and any adjuvants as part of your work in agriculture or horticulture, pleasure or forestry; use pesticides when working in agriculture or horticulture when farming or caring for arable crops, forage crops, livestock, or when treating seeds.
Cowie added that when companies sold professional pesticides separately from their use, they had to register both as a company that used pesticides and as a company that sold pesticides, pointing out that the forms were different. in both cases.
And while many farmers felt the registration exercise was unnecessary, as adopting good practices in pesticide use was already an important part of agricultural insurance schemes, she said: “ We have provided comments that this process can be seen as a duplication of information already provided by other quality assurance systems.
Farmers unhappy with new controls on agricultural chemicals
“But due to the data protection requirements associated with it, and to ensure as many registrations as possible, it was deemed best for everyone to register, in the hope that the burden on farmers would be minimal. .”
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