Sprayers need to be tested to comply with Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine rules, but also to ensure that they are working as efficiently as possible.

Sprayers now need to be tested every three years and farmers need to have a cert to prove that their sprayer has been tested.

The sprayer certificate, which displays the time of testing.

All pesticide application equipment needs to be tested. This includes:

  • Horizontal boom sprayers.
  • Bush or orchard blast sprayers.
  • The Department of Agriculture has explained that the testing period begins from the date of purchase for the initial test and at three-year intervals thereafter.

    Testing needs to be carried out every three years regardless of the amount of time that a sprayer has been used.

    So, for example, if there is a sprayer being used for one day in the year on a grassland farm, it needs to be tested every three years, the same as a sprayer in use for 40 days of the year on a tillage farm.

    This requirement is part of Conditionality, which was formerly known as cross-compliance, which is a set of baseline requirements under the new CAP Strategic Plan, and if farmers are not in compliance, they could be penalised in their Basic Income Support Scheme (BISS) payment.

    Department inspectors will assess the date of testing, test certificate number, and seek proof to confirm whether the sprayer is less than three years old.

    Sprayers last tested in 2021 should be tested in 2024. The current schedule of the types of sprayers requiring testing is available here.

    The Department also has a link to registered pesticide equipment, which is available by clicking here.

    Sprayer calibration

    Remember - sprayer testing and calibration are different. Sprayers should be calibrated at least once per year.

    Readers with further queries should contact pesticideregisters@agriculture.gov.ie for further guidance.

    Key points

  • Sprayers used by professional users must be tested every three years.
  • Testing is required for both horizontal boom and bush/orchard blast sprayers.
  • Testing is a requirement under Conditionality for beneficiaries of CAP payments.
  • Department inspectors will check whether sprayers have been tested.
  • The schedule of sprayers requiring testing is available online.
  • A list of approved equipment inspectors is available online.
  • Calibration is different from testing and must be carried out at least once per annum.