FEATURED INFORMATION

Integrated pest management, an opportunity for sustainability

Jordi Giné
Head of the Plant Health Service

Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and the Environment

The new regulations on the sustainable use of plant protectionproducts (PPPs) require professional plant pest management to be conducted with minimal use of such products and giving priority, whenever possible, to non-chemical methods so that advisorsand users select the products and practices that generate the least risk to human health and the environment. All of this will be done taking into account the general principles of Integrated Pest Management.

Farmers certified for Organic Production, Integrated Production or with certified productions approved by Spain’s Comité Fitosanitario Nacional (‘National Phytosanitary Committee’) are considered to already comply with these principles, as are all members of Agrupaciones de Defensa Vegetal (‘Plant Defence Groups’ – ADV).

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) promotes natural mechanisms for controlling pests, diseases and weeds with PPPs allowed where reasonable, striving for minimal disturbance of the agricultural ecosystems and optimal crop yield.

For these reasons, from 1 January 2014 all professional farmers must apply IPM principles to their farms. These principles will be described in specific guides for each crop or crop group, planned for official publication by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture (MAGRAMA).

To help them make the right decisions, farmers must have access to advice on integrated pest management. This will not be required for farms and/or production types considered to be low consumers of PPPs (yet to be officially defined at the time of writing).

Training of applicators

Anyone carrying out PPP treatments or handling PPPsmust possess an applicator/handler license for these products. This license entitles the holder to:

- applytreatments using professional-gradePPPs, and
- purchase PPPs,

Farmers employing auxiliary personnel to applytreatments on their farms must possess a skilled-levelapplicator license.

Toavoid contaminating water orthe environment, as well as to prevent health problems affecting farmers and their workers, certain preventive measures must be adopted for these treatments, such as:

- Respecting a buffer band five meterswide around surface water bodies, except for rice fields and irrigation channels.
- Setting up equipment and checking its operation prior to mixing and loading the PPP. This operation shallbe performed at least 25 meters from any water outlets or bodies of water that might become contaminated.
- Leaving an untreated bufferof at least 50 meters from any points where water for human consumption is taken from surface water bodies orfrom any wells used for such a purpose.

PPPs for professional use should be stored in locked cupboards or premises and should be kept out of the reach of children. Storage places must also comply with certain minimum requirements to avoid risks and dangerous handling.

All PPP application systems must pass regular inspections. All equipment with a capacity of more than 100 liters must be included in the Registro Oficial de Maquinaria Agrícola (‘Official Register of Farm Machinery’ - ROMA) and must be inspected before the end of 2016.

Holding register

Professional farmers must keep a holding register, where details of the activity in each plotmust be noted, including SIGPAC data, personnel applying the PPP, equipment used, and all phytosanitary treatments carried out in each field.

Farmers must conserve the following documents for a period of three years:

  • Holding register
  • Advisorydocument
  • Certification of inspection of application equipment
  • Contracts with treatment companies (if necessary)
  • Invoices for the purchase of PPPs
  • Analytical results of PPP residue tests conducted on the farm
  • Notes for the delivery of containers to a waste management company or to SIGFITO
Advisory service

Advisory services must be provided by a specialist who can show proof of advisor status, and must be provided in accordance with general IPM principles. When the owner of a farm, or a person associated with it, can show proof of advisorstatus, said person can be the advisorfor that farm. Persons working as advisors must take into account the guides for crops or crop groups published by the Comité Fitosanitario Nacional in the course of their advisory work.

IPM advisor statusshall begranted to any person who can show proof of the necessary qualifications to the competent body in an autonomous community. Advisors must be registered in the “Advisors” section of the Registro Oficial de Productores y Operadores de Medios de Defensa Fitosanitaria(‘Official Register of Producers and Operators of Phytosanitary Defence Systems’).

Advisorsmay work anywhere in Spain provided that they have shown proof of their status to an autonomous community and are registered with one of the offices of the Registro Oficial de Productores y Operadores.

Qualification requirements

Qualifications that enable a person to work as an IPM advisor include any bachelor’s degrees, higher engineering degrees, technical engineering degrees, master’s degrees or postgraduate certificates, and advanced vocational training certificates that include at least 40 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits for subjects directly related to plant production and, in particular, subjectsthat, regardless of the exact subject titlepublishedin the syllabus, unquestionably include the content listedin the following table:

  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Botany
  • Herbaceous crops
  • Horticulture
  • Woody crops
  • Soil study
  • Agricultural or forest entomology
  • Plant physiology
  • Plant science
  • Weed science
  • Agricultural mechanization
  • Plant improvement
  • Plant pathology
  • General crop and forestry planning
  • Plant protection
  • Agricultural chemistry
  • Forestry

Of the aforesaid 40 ECTS credits, at least 12 must correspond to subjects directly related to plant protection and, in particular, those that, regardless of the exact name used in the syllabus, unquestionably cover the following content: Plant protection, Agricultural or forest entomology, Plant pathology, Weed science, Mechanization (Machinery and systems for cropprotection).

The following pre-European Higher Education Area university degrees comply with the conditions listed above:

  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Technical Agricultural Engineer
  • Forest Engineer
  • Technical Forest Engineer
  • Other university degreeswhose holders can show proof that they have received training equivalent to that specified above.

The following vocational training certificates also comply with the aforesaid conditions:

  • Senior Landscaping and Rural Environment Technician
  • SeniorForest and Natural Environment Management Technician
  • Other vocational training certificates for which it can be shown that equivalent training was received.

However, the competent body in the autonomous community may grant advisor status, until 1 January 2015, to university graduates or holders of appropriatevocational training certificates whocan show proof that they have acquired sufficient experience prior to that date,includingat least four years of advisorywork in warning stations, treatment companies, plantprotectionassociations, or integratedproduction.

PPPs in non-agricultural areas

In parks and gardens, sports facilities, utility land, and industrial estates, treatments may only be performed by professional applicators who must be assisted by IPM advisors.

Private areas (private gardens, indoor areas, and kitchen gardens) are exempt from such requirements and may be treated by non-professionals using products authorized for non-professional use.

Sale of PPPs

All transactions involving PPPs must be recorded by the vendor, and this record should also state the details of the purchaser.
Moreover, distributors and vendors must employa technician with the requisitequalifications, in accordance with the stipulations of Law 43/2002 on plant health. Qualification requirements are the same as thosestipulated by Royal Decree 1311/2012 for IPM advisors.

CALENDAR FOR PROFESSIONAL FARMERS

1 January 2013: Holding register
1 January 2014: Apply IPM principles, receive advisoryservices (except for farm or production types involving low consumption of PPPs), and observe official crop guides
26 November 2015: Applicator license compulsory to purchase PPPs
26 November 2016: All application systems of a capacity greater than 100 litersto have been inspected

Featured highlights

Legal notice

In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is to promote the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartFruit IPM International Congress via its website.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
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- Address for notification purposes.
PRODECA also reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.

Data protection policy

In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is the promotion, via its website, of the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartfFruit IPM International Congress.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
- Name, surname(s) and photocopy of National Identity Document or Passport.
- Statement of the purpose of the request.
- Address for notification purposes.
PRODECA also declares that it reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.