The Groundsman

May 2014

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TECHNICAL UPDATE 20 the Groundsman May 2014 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions hange is a fact of life and it is how we respond that makes the difference. In the world of weed, pest and disease control, recent policy changes and legislation, linked especially to the Sustainable Use and Water Framework Directive, are impacting everyone involved in the amenity sector. It is important that all commit themselves to best practice: if everyone can demonstrate that we can respond and drive up standards by voluntary action, it is far better than having it imposed. With this in mind, the Amenity Forum with assistance from the Chemicals Regulation Directorate, has produced 'The Ten Golden Rules' (a copy of which can be found on the Forum's website backed up with detailed guidance notes). C A time for action These are challenging and changing times for everyone involved with weed, pest and disease control and, says Amenity Forum chair John Moverley, it is important that the industry fully commits to best practice and demonstrates that, by a voluntary approach, it can drive up standards By: John Moverley They are not comprehensive but hopefully establish the key factors to be considered. In summary they are: 1. Get trained and keep updated. Training is in some cases compulsory, for example for operators, and, in other areas, highly advisable. It is equally important that the sector can demonstrate full commitment to continuous professional development. Currently too few in our sector are enrolled in the recognised schemes. 2. Carefully plan the pest, weed and disease control strategy and seek qualified advice. It is good practice to only use pesticides where it is necessary to do so and important to always consider an integrated approach to control. Whilst pesticides may be considered the most effective and economic control, it is important to consider alternative approaches. 3. Buy pesticides from reputable distributors. This will minimise the risk, for example, of being sold counterfeit products. Trained staff should be on hand to advise on safe, proper and economic use of the product, a legal requirement from 2015. 4. Store pesticides correctly, use only authorised products and comply with conditions on the product label. These are legal requirements. It is crucial that users read and understand the way in which the product must be used. Application rates need to be correct for the weeds or diseases being controlled.

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