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Farmers need to acquaint themselves with new regulations on spraying

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BY SINEAD DEVANEY AND TIM HYDE

THE introduction of the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) has created many questions for farmers and Teagasc staff over recent months.

Many of the questions are answered below and simply any farmer that uses spray or sprayer is affected. If you are a farmer and apply professional use plant protection products (weed killers, fungicides, insecticides), then the SUD applies to you.

If you spray grassland, arable crops etc with a sprayer or if you spot-spray with a knapsack or lance, you need to register. However if you get a contractor to do all my spraying, you don’t need to register but the contractor must be registered.

A farmer can buy pesticides after November 26, 2015, but cannot apply the spray with their own sprayer unless they have completed the following:

Registered with the Dept. of Agriculture (See below) as a professional user and have completed the Pesticide Application module as part of a Teagasc (FETAC level 5 or 6) course will meet the requirements for professional user training (or equivalent).

What is the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD)? The SUD is a new EU directive governing all aspects of pesticide use. It is being implemented in Ireland by the Dept. of Agriculture to include herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, seed dressings, certain rodenticides etc.

What is the purpose of the SUD? The overall aims of the SUD are to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment and to        promote the use of integrated pest management (IPM) and of alternative approaches or techniques to pesticides

What is IPM? IPM is essentially good, sound farming practises such as growing competitive, healthy crops, choosing the correct variety, applying pesticides to get the most from them, practising a good rotation, etc. See more examples under number 10 (below).

Who will the SUD affect? The SUD will affect the following: pesticide advisors (Teagasc/ACA); pesticide distributors (merchants, anybody selling chemical/pesticides); professional users of pesticides (farmers, contractors, sprayer operators, spraying companies) and inspectors of sprayer equipment

What is a professional user of pesticides? A professional user is any person who uses pesticides such as anybody using a sprayer (farmers, contractors, operators, technicians, employers and self-employed people), both in the farming and other sectors. All professional users must be registered by November 26, 2015. From this date, only a registered professional user can apply pesticides authorised for professional use.

How does a professional user register? There will be an online registration facility available for professional users on the PCS (Pesticides Control Section of Dept. of Agriculture: pcs.agriculture.gov but you can only register if you are fully trained as outlined below.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Flexibility and budget worries over direction of new scheme

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Michael Biggins: Disappointed at scheme.

THE new ACRES (Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme) due to be rolled out on January 1 next is ‘restrictive and complicated’ according to West of Ireland farming representative.

IFA Rural Development Chairman, Michael Biggins, said that the proposed scheme was ‘far from a new REPS’ and urgently needed to be modified in terms of flexibility and budget allocation.

“As it’s currently proposed, ACRES is restrictive and complicated.  It will inflict more compliance costs on farmers, resulting in less income.

“The scheme is designed to discourage people from farming. In order to achieve the average payment, farmers will have to commit more land to lower levels of production compared to previous schemes,” said Michael Biggins.

He added that all farmers who applied needed to be accepted into the scheme while those farmers applying in 2023 would have to be paid in the same year.

Details of the €1.5 billion ACRES scheme were outlined by the Dept. of Agriculture in June with two entry streams – a general or individual one: and a co-operation model for environmentally sensitive area including Connemara and parts of South Galway and Mayo.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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‘Smart villages’: the way forward

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Pictured at the recent opening of the ‘Smart Villages’ office in Mountbellew were: Anne Kinsella, Chairperson of Galway Rural Development; Senator Aisling Dolan; and Minister for Rural Development and Social Protection, Heather Humphreys.

A RECENTLY opened Galway Rural Development (GRD) office in Mountbellew could be the forerunner to similar ‘Smart Villages’ initiatives over the coming years, according to the organisers of the scheme.

The Smart Villages initiative is part of the European Network for Rural Development, aimed at improving services in country areas such as health, social, energy, transport and retail.

The Mountbellew office was officially opened by Minister for Rural/Community Affairs  Heather Humphreys, who said that the initiative marked an important step forward in terms of rural development.

CEO of Galway Rural Development, Steve Dolan, said that last year they had picked out Mountbellew as their pilot location for the Smart Villages project which would offer a lot of opportunities for rural communities mainly through the use of information and communications technology

“Smart Village training has been developed and delivered, up-skilling many in the community in local development, connectivity, sustainability, and more. The opening of this office in Mountbellew is as a result of our shared efforts,” said Steve Dolan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Anger as factories continue to chop lamb price

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Stephen Canavan: No reason for price cuts.

THE meat plants have been accused of trying ‘to make a fast buck’ on the backs of sheep farmers with lamb prices now back by a euro per kilo, as compared to just over a month ago.

Farm leaders have said that the factories are trying ‘to tough it out’ before more finished lambs begin to come on the market over the next month or so.

Galway IFA Chairman,  Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune that there was no good reason for the chain of factory price cuts over the past five weeks or so.

“All the information we are getting is that the supply of finished lambs is still quite limited but the factories have obviously taken a decision to cut now, before the number of finished lambs increase through the Autumn.

“It’s just another example of the meat plants trying to make a fast buck at the expense of the primary producer at a time when input costs for farmers have never been as high,” said Stephen Canavan.

Lamb prices are this week hovering at the €6.50 per kg mark – down from a high of over €7.50 per kg in late June, equating to a price drop for farmers of around €20 per lamb.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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