Just 5% of sprayers have been tested, according to Department of Agriculture figures, the Irish Farmers Journal has learned. It is estimated that there are 30,000 sprayers in use in Ireland. This leaves 28,500 to be tested in three months.
The Sustainable Use Directive stipulates that all sprayers must be tested by 26 November. This figure may be lower, as farmers may have decided to retire older machines and purchase new sprayers that have five years to be tested. Another factor is that there will not be the capacity to test 2,375 sprayers a week to meet the Department deadline. Sprayers not tested after that date cannot be used until they have been inspected and passed, or they may be decommissioned altogether.