Pesticide Registration and Control Division Notes

STRIPE

Surface water Tool for Reducing the Impact of Pesticides on the Environment

 

Rightly or wrongly paperwork has become increasingly important on farms and even more so on tillage farms. Recent additional legislation and ‘greening’ measures will add to this burden in 2015. With significant payments from Europe and penalties for non-compliance, it is critical you know the rules and ensure you comply with them. 
Legislation Action points
A number of legally binding rules are now in force in relation to pesticides that may directly affect you

Buffer Zones

Buffer zones are areas adjacent to water (mainly) or hedgerows which cannot receive direct application of particular pesticide(s).  A minimum buffer zone of 1m applies to all Plant protection products (PPPs) i.e. PPPs must not be applied within 1m of any surface water body regardless of rate of application, type of nozzles used and whether water is present in the surface water body (a surface water body is a feature which is capable of holding water permanently or at any stage during the year). 

 

In recent years, the majority of products being authorised in the EU require larger unsprayed areas to be maintained adjacent to rivers, lakes and drains etc… The extent and size of these aquatic buffer zones can range from 3m to 70m!

 

   

 

STRIPE

STRIPE is an initiative which incentivises farmers to adopt the best practice of using spray drift reducing technology to reduce the impact of pesticide exposure on the environment and increasing farm efficiency.  The initiative allows farmers to reduce the size of mandatory untreated areas of land near water courses (buffer zones).

 

Key point:

PPPs must not be applied within 1m of any surface water body and many products have significantly larger buffer zones. Applying the best practise principles of STRIPE can allow the reduction of these larger buffer zones.

 

Application of STRIPE 

Product authorisations frequently require a buffer zone of greater than 1m to be left between the edge of the crop and the surface water body (river, lake, drain, ditch, gripe, sheugh etc.).  Where a product authorisation attracts such a buffer zone, professional users/farmers are required to respect this buffer zone in its entirety except STRIPE a reduction under three scenarios:

 

Example

Product label requires the professional user/farmer to leave an unsprayed buffer zone of 10m.  Applying the above three scenarios may allow reduction in this 10m buffer zone:

1. The professional user/farmer is using “Super Low Drift” nozzles on his sprayer, capable of reducing the drift by 90%, consequently, by following the STRIPE instructions, is able to reduce this buffer zone width down to 1m or 2m.  

2. The professional user/farmer is using this product at half the recommended rate (50% rate), and consequently, by following the STRIPE instructions, is able to reduce this buffer zone width down to 5m i.e. as a “rule of thumb” ~50% reduction in application rate will lead to a 50% reduction in the buffer zone (note in some limited cases this will not be possible).

3. The professional user/farmer is using “Low Drift” nozzles on his sprayer, capable of reducing the drift by 75% and is also using this product at just half the recommended rate and consequently by following the STRIPE instructions should be able to reduce this buffer zone width down to 1m.  

 

Please visit the Pesticides Registration and Control Division website for a more detailed insight into the workings of STRIPE 

http://www.pcs.agriculture.gov.ie/plantprotectionproducts/stripe-surfacewatertoolforreducingtheimpactofpesticidesintheenvironment/

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