A 30-second video will play on mart days for the coming month, reminding farmers to use best practice when applying pesticides to their lands.
The targeted marketing campaign – which is being led by National Pesticides and Drinking Water Action Group - commenced this week across 11 marts covering priority areas where pesticide exceedances are of concern for the NPDWAG.
The selected marts are in Kilkenny, Athenry, Ballyjamesduff, Fermoy, Castlerea, Kilmallock, Bandon, Castleisland, Ballybay, Roscommon and Ballinasloe.
Great care must always be taken to protect drinking water supplies wherever pesticide use is considered necessary, particularly if using products for grassland weed control containing substances such as MCPA, fluroxypyr and 2,4-D.
While there is no threat to public health, the detected levels sometimes exceed the legally permitted limit value for pesticides in drinking water, which is set at an extremely low value.
MCPA, which is commonly used to kill rushes on wetland, is the main offender, however, other pesticides such as 2,4-D, fluroxypyr and MCPP (also known as mecoprop) are being detected more frequently than in previous years.
The regulations are so stringent that a single drop of pesticide is enough to breach the drinking water limit in a small stream for up to 30 kilometres.
- Choose the right pesticide product (Note that products containing MCPA are NOT approved for use in weed-wipers.)
- Read and follow the product label;
- Determine the right amount to purchase and use;
- Don’t spray if rain or strong wind is forecast in the next 48 hours;
- Make sure you are aware of the location of all nearby watercourses;
- Comply with any buffer zone specified on the product label to protect the aquatic environment. Mark out the specified buffer zone from the edge of the river or lake or other watercourses;
- Never fill a sprayer directly from a watercourse or carry out mixing, loading or other handling operations beside a watercourse;
- Avoid spills, stay well back from open drains and rinse empty containers 3 times into the sprayer;
- Store and dispose of pesticides and their containers properly.