CTA offer salvation for pesticide products

19-02-2017

In the media: farmers week 181116

Farmers Weekly – 18 November 2016

Tightening regulations mean it is probable some pesticides will have to be transferred into sprayers using a closed induction system. Adam Clarke finds out what is being done to develop an industry-wide standard to reduce the risk of operator exposure.

Sprayer operators may soon be required to use a closed system for transferring certain liquid pesticides from the can to the spray tank and, for the rst time, key industry players have united to find a standard- ised system to minimise operator exposure. A closed transfer system (CTS) is a device that allows neat pesticide mixture to be transferred from its container to the spray tank with negligible exposure to the operator and the environment.Such devices have been available for many years and the pesticide industry has attempted to introduce them across Europe and the US in the past, but with limited success. This was primarily down to the failure of the crop protection companies to work together to develop an international standard for CTS and sprayer manufacturers and agrochemical firms to adhere to. However, ever-increasing regulatory pressure on plant protection products has caused the industry to address the issue with urgency.

Products under threat

As ag-chem companies bring new active ingredients to market or re- register existing ones, increased importance is being placed on reducing operator exposure, explains pesticide application expert Tom Robinson. This means that in the future, some formulations may not be approved for use in the European Union unless a CTS is used during the filling process. “Products are under threat and regulators may require manufacturers to demonstrate negligible exposure to humans under realistic conditions of use. “We have already seen this impacting on the application side with drift reduction nozzles now a requirement on some product labels and it’s a ecting the filling side,” says Mr Robinson.

ISO standard

This imminent threat of product loss has prompted the European Crop Protection Association, farmer and agricultural engineering representatives and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to get together and compile a draft ISO standard for closed transfer systems. Richard Garnett, director of chemical transfer and packaging experts Wisdom Systems, says the process is in its advanced stage after thorough consultation with sprayer manufacturers and agrochemical companies.

“The need for an ISO standard is not about the design, but about ensuring any system that comes to the market is performing to set criteria,” he explains.

It is hoped that the new standard, combined with innovative CTS designs that are widely accepted by all parties will result in wholesale adoption across the EU to benefit operators, the environment and minimise product losses.

ImProved effIcIency

In addition to these crucial benefits, Mr Garnett points out there is also much more interest in efficiency on farm and says the average sprayer takes about 40 minutes to load.

“About 10 minutes is filling the sprayer with water, so the other 30 minutes [loading chemical] is relatively inefficient and the right closed transfer system and packaging can help improve that,” he adds.

Mr Robinson gauged the willingness of sprayer manufacturers to incorporate CTSs into their design or o er retro t alternatives at Cereals 2016 and all were keen. The same is also true of two major agrochemical manufacturers – Bayer and BASF. Bayer’s application and stewardship coordinator Alice Johnson says it is important the industry follows the project through and gets behind a system that works for everyone. “From our perspective, we see the need to get the technology on farm – it doesn’t matter who’s design it is. The key thing is that they all work together and containers also work across the board,” she explains. BASF campaign manager Ruth Stanley agrees that a universal approach is critical and it is also important any system brought to market is user-friendly and something farmers will want to adopt. “There is a history of failure [with CTS] and that was due to a lack of standardisation. It just makes things too complex,” she adds.

Read more? Farmers Weekly CTS Article Nov 18 2016

 
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