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Storage preparation

2 August 2011

Growers must check that CIPC fogging machines have been tested before they are put to use this autumn.

Since the start of this year all machines, whether contractor-operated or grower-owned, have to go through the National Sprayer Testing Scheme, a key part of the Voluntary Initiative which aims to ensure machinery delivers pesticides efficiently with minimal impact on the environment.

“The test will show that machines have been properly maintained and calibrated,” says Dr Mike Storey, chairman of the Stewardship Group.  “As this is the first season it has been required, we are reminding store managers to look for the unique number identifier to ensure the machine complies.

“They will then need to keep a record of the number to comply with the Assured Produce scheme.”

To date 28 machines, mainly belonging to larger contractors, have passed the test. “They cover a significant tonnage, but we need to raise the profile to ensure that all machines, including those treating a couple of thousand tonnes year, are picked up too,” says Mike.

Growers can consult a new checklist to ensure their store is suitable for CIPC application before filling it.

The seven-point plan, designed by Adrian Cunnington and David Hudson of the CIPC Stewardship Group, covers store location, including its proximity to residential property, as well as store integrity (leaks) and the amount of empty space in the filled store.

Other areas covered are location of CIPC application point, uniformity of the store environment and suitability for bulk or box storage.

Growers assess their stores against these criteria and their answers will be judged red, amber or green. Any red categories should be addressed; if two or more remain, treatment should not be carried out.

The scheme is being launched at the Sutton Bridge storage event; details are also available at on the CIPC Stewardship Group website (www.potato.org.uk/cipc).

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