ADLib Glossary (A)

More Information:

Aerial Spraying of Pesticides

Applying agricultural pesticides from the air poses additional risks to the public and to the environment. Details regarding best practice can be found in the Pesticide Code but a brief summary of the key points are given below.

  • FEPA requirements impose a general obligation on people applying pesticides from the air to ensure that they do not put at risk the health of humans, non-target species or the environment in general. These detailed rules under Part III of FEPA are originally set out in COPR and then in what are known as Consents.
  • The law requires that the approved maximum dose is not exceeded.
  • Do not use a pesticide in this manner if it does not have specific approval on the product label.
  • Other specific legal controls are also given in the Civil Aviation Authorities booklet CAP14.
  • Every one applying pesticides from an aircraft must hold a CAA qualification - an aerial application certificate. In the case of contractors and young people a recognised certificate of competence in pesticide application is also required.
  • The obligations to observe minimum harvest intervals and to keep people and animals out of treated areas is the responsibility of the person on whose behalf the spraying is carried out.
  • 24 hours notification of aerial spraying must be given to the public.
  • Aircraft must not spray within 200 metres of residential premises.
  • The wake of the aircraft has a large influence on the droplet dispersal pattern and atmospheric stability can also significantly effect spray drift. Reasonably stable conditions should be sought for aerial spraying. Although care should be taken not to spray on warm, still, sunny days or very cool still evenings, as under such conditions air movement can be unpredictable and carry fine spray and vapour long distances and in unexpected directions.

Only products which have been specifically labelled for aerial application under the Control of Pesticides Regulations may be applied from the air and only on specific crops and for specific purposes. Remember to check the label and where there is any doubt seek guidance for Pesticide Safety Directorate.

Operators undertaking aerial spraying must hold an Aerial Application Certificate from the CAA and must make regular returns to DEFRA Pesticide Usage Survey Group based at CSL.

ADLib logo Content provided by the Agricultural Document Library
© University of Hertfordshire, 2011