Everyone who uses pesticides has the responsibility to ensure that they use them correctly and effectively. We provide guidance on best practice in the use of pesticides in a number of ways:
Advice for Home Garden and Amateur Users
We provide information and guidance on the use of pesticides in the Home and Garden.
Advice for Professional Users
Professional pesticide users are those people who have received formal training in the use of pesticides and who are using pesticides in the course of their job or business. We now provide guidance for them in the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products. This code replaces three previous codes of practice including The Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Pesticides on Farms and Holdings (Green Code). Other Codes of Practice are also available for those working professionally with pesticides to help them meet the requirements of pesticide legislation.
We have "Farmers and Growers" and "Amenity Users" interest areas on this website, reached from links in the Menu of each page. Information on relevant issues is brought together on these pages.
Before purchasing or using a pesticide, always ask yourself whether it is really necessary to control the pest, disease or weed that you want to get rid of? Do you need to use a pesticide? Has the pest or weed reached a completely unacceptable level?
It is Government policy that the use of pesticides should be minimised. Advice on best practice for professional growers is given in the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products. This code replaces three previous codes of practice including The Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Pesticides on Farms and Holdings (Green Code). Specific advice on how to combine traditional and modern farm practices with measures to protect the environment is provided in the booklet Pesticides and Integrated Farm Management.
Is the product Authorised?
It is important to find out if the product is authorised for the crop and situation for which you wish to use it. One way to do this is to use our database of pesticide products.
Read the Label
You must always make sure that you read and understand the label before you use the product. You must always follow the label instructions carefully.
Everyone who uses pesticides must have adequate guidance, instruction or training for their correct use.
Guidance on applying pesticides is outlined in the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products. Users of pesticides must ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to prevent spray drift.
Aerial Spraying Permitting Arrangements - Introduced in June 2012
For information about new Aerial Spraying Permitting arrangements introduced in June 2012 please see the following page: Aerial Spraying Permitting Arrangements
Buffer Zones and LERAP
In certain circumstances it may be possible to reduce the width of a required unsprayed area around the crop (a buffer zone) by carrying out a Local Environment Risk Assessment for Pesticides (LERAP).
If you use pesticides it is your responsibility to ensure that any pesticide waste is disposed of properly. We provide detailed guidance in the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products on how to do this.
The resistance of pests, diseases and weeds to pesticides is a major problem for farmers and other pesticide users. Various Resistance Action Groups provide information and guidance on this issue. We also issued advice on Fungicide Resistance Management Strategies in 2003.