Functional inspection and adjustment of sprayers in use

At the European level, the Crop Protection Technology Laboratory team actively participates in the Working Group SPISE (Standardized Procedures for the Inspection of Sprayers in Europe). This group aims to harmonize and promote the inspection of PF dispensing equipment within the EU, exchange information on inspection activity between member states, develop guidelines (“Spise Advice“) common to all member states, keep relations with the European Commission regarding this area.

In addition to its involvement in SPISE, the Crop Protection Technology Research Group, in collaboration with formerly ENAMA and with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (formerly MIPAAF, now MASAF), has coordinated a National Technical Working Table since 2005. This initiative aimed to standardize regulatory and organizational aspects of the periodic functional control of sprayers used in Italian farms over a period of about 10 years. Additionally, the group produced documents containing guidelines for adjusting sprayers, ensuring their proper functioning and compliance with regulatory requirements.

For some time now, and for various reasons, the Technical Working Table has ceased its activities, despite the widespread recognition of the need to restart such an experience that has brought many benefits over the years. Both the current National Action Plan (NAP) and the draft of the next one envisage the establishment of a specific Technical Support Body, competent in the field.

For these reasons, and in agreement with MASAF, meetings have been organized since the end of 2022 among representatives of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces. During these meetings, particular attention has been given to the following topics:

– Procedural pathway aimed at institutionalizing the National Coordination Group for activities related to the Functional Control and Regulation of sprayers;
– Joint assessment of the contents of the draft new European Regulation on the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products (SUR), concerning equipment for the distribution of plant protection products;
– Identification of priority actions and topics, as well as modalities for continuing the activities of the National Technical Working Table.

The next meeting is currently scheduled to take place by the summer of 2024.

In addition to the representatives of MASAF, Regions and Autonomous Provinces and Crop Protection Technology Group, the following entities also participate in these meetings:

– CREA-Ing
– Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences – Production, Territory, Agro-energy (University of Milano)

Finally, the personnel of the Crop Protection Technology laboratory has been collaborating since 2002 with the Plant Protection Sector of the Piemonte Region on activities related to the functional control and regulation of sprayers used in the regional territory. This collaboration focuses on:

  • Monitoring the activities carried out by testing centers and technicians;
  • Collecting and processing data obtained from the conducted inspections;
  • Training new technicians;
  • Providing technical support to qualified technicians;
  • Periodically updating qualified technicians;
  • Drafting and updating survey forms;
  • Providing information regarding the updating of the computer application that collects data from the conducted inspections (in collaboration with CSI Piemonte).

Functional control and adjustment of sprayers gallery

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