Catchment Sensitive Farming: Practical Tips

Practical Tip: Crop protection management plans

If you have already produced a crop protection management plan for Environmental Stewardship you may wish to check it is clearly set out and includes the following required steps. You should consider following a similar format for all crop protection management plans.

  1. Produce your plan with a BASIS qualified agronomist.
  2. Consider farm location, soil type, previous cropping, rotations and pesticide resistance issues. This can help you anticipate and predict potential problems.
  3. Adopt non-chemical options wherever economic and practical. Include the use of rotations, cultivations and resistant varieties and encourage natural predators by incorporating beetle banks and field margins.
  4. Inspect crops regularly to identify weeds, pests and diseases accurately. Evaluate the need for a pesticide by use of thresholds and diagnostic kits. You should consider the environmental impact of alternative control options such as the fuel used in flame weeding or possible damage to ground nesting birds when mechanical weeding is undertaken.
  5. Select an effective pesticide that is economic and will minimise impacts on: - crop pest predators, non-target organisms, neighbouring crops, wildlife habitats, and the quality of surface water and groundwater.
  6. If you want to reduce the statutory no-spray buffer zone adjacent to watercourses you must undertake a Local Environment Risk Assessment for Pesticides (LERAPS).
  7. Keep accurate records. Record keeping is a requirement under EC law when you grow food or feed crops. They are a key management tool to help identify where improvement can be made and should include the justification for a particular course of action.
  8. Complete an annual review so as to incorporate any new priorities.

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