Since its launch in 2015, the Nematicide Stewardship Programme (NSP) has focused on providing growers and operators with sound stewardship advice for the responsible use of granular nematicides, but according to chairman of the group, Patrick Mitton, there is still more to do.
“The NSP has made progress in promoting a responsible use of these products, by investing time into providing clear stewardship guidance via a best practice protocol; but there is still more to do, to ensure these important products are available for years to come,” he says.
This protocol has been supported by tailor-made workshops delivered through the NIAB training portal, ARTIS. “Commencing in the spring of 2015, the NSP has overseen the training of nearly 1,400 delegates, across 50 workshops, covering the equivalent of 65% of UK potato farms. This is being rolled out further via a series of new e-learning courses, and the first module on the requirements for applying nematicides was launched earlier this year.”
By offering online training, which is also registered for BASIS and NRoSO points, the NSP aims to reach a wider range of growers and operators. “By providing a permanent, up-to-date resource that is available to all, we hope to support continued personal development within the industry,” he explains.
“The NSP has also commissioned two further online modules, covering product labels and applicator machinery, the first of which will be launched later this year. We would urge those applying nematicides to sign up to the online programme,” says Mr Mitton.
“We’ve also been working with the AHDB on the new PCN Soil Sampling Guide, whichis a welcome update on the current understanding around PCN management and control. It brings together scientific knowledge and practical experience of sustainable integrated management techniques, which will be extremely valuable to both growers and agronomists alike.
“Through encouraging best practice, we can make sure these products continue to support the industry for years to come.”