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Latest News

Find out what's new in BASIS and our various schemes, and keep up to date with current industry developments. Or, select a date in the news archive to search through previous articles.

Good news but early days for rodenticide stewardship on farms and game shoots

PRESS RELEASE ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE CAMPAIGN FOR RESPONSIBLE RODENTICIDE USE

Rat control is changing for the better on UK farms and game shoots. From 2015 to 2017, a detailed independent study has found planned prevention of infestations is taking over from control in reaction to the presence of rats.

It finds gamekeepers leading the way, their use of a planned approach increasing from 30% to 59% over the two years. Among farmers, the less desirable option of reactive control has declined from 43% to 38%.

The period covered is one year pre- and one year post-introduction in October 2016 of the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime, which commissioned the work.

Stewardship spokesman and Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use chairman Dr Alan Buckle applauds the progress but also cautions that it needs to accelerate if lower rodenticide levels in wildlife are to be detected in time for the Government's formal review of stewardship in 2020.

"Underpinning the positive progress identified," he suggests, "the study also reports that farmers' and gamekeepers' understanding of poor practice, which leads to environmental risks, has increased.

"Another indicator of improving practice is declining use of permanent baiting with rodenticides. Significantly fewer gamekeepers employ this practice, down from 44% to 25%. The shift by farmers is much less dramatic, from 39% to 37%.

"While both groups are going in the right direction, this is a concern if one-in-four gamekeepers and one-in-three farmers still consider routine permanent baiting essential today. It is no longer an option under the stewardship regime and new farm assurance standards, so needs eliminating as a routine measure by all users."

Dr Buckle emphasises that the government panel overseeing rodenticide stewardship is concerned not only with changes for the better in control practice but also, more importantly, measurable downward movement of rodenticide residue levels in non-target animals.

"Without such evidence," he adds, "we should anticipate further restrictions on where rodenticides can be used, and by whom. Clearly, this places responsibility squarely in users' own hands."

CRRU contact: Dr Alan Buckle, CRRU UK chairman, alan@alanbuckleconsulting.com Author & PR contact: Phil Christopher, Red Rock Publicity, phil@redrock.uk.com, 07802 672304.


 

First BASIS online training module for NSK’s is going live soon

In response to industry demand and feedback from nominated store keepers (NSK), we are delighted to announce that the online refresher module for Nominated Storekeepers working in BASIS Registered Pesticide stores is now live.

The title of the 2019-2020 training module is: PESTICIDE SEGREGATION AND SPILL MANAGEMENT.

The training starts with a revision of key definitions and facts: what are pests?; what are pesticides and their importance? etc. After that the training covers the importance of information included on a current pesticides label and moves into the segregation rules and spill management.

The training is designed by considering that the audience consists of trained individuals with a range of existing knowledge, experience, and opinions. This initiative comes with all the advantages of online learning: flexibility in terms of time and location; promoting active and independent learning; focused, consistent & interactive delivery of a message; self-passed speed and resource saving (time, money and reduced impact on the environment).

The cost of the training is £30 per individual, the delivery techniques used are slides, voice-over, video, active exercises and a final assessment. The assessment consists of 10 multiple choice questions which must be completed in 30 minutes. The pass mark is 70% and successful candidates will be able to download their Certificate of Achievement from their BASIS learning portal.

If you require further assistance or wish to enrol yourself or a number of your NSK, please do not hesitate to contact Suzanne Mason on 01335 340856 - sue@basis-reg.co.uk or complete the online form, click here to download the registration form.


BASIS set to launch qualifications to enhance soil quality

With the Agriculture Bill set to reward farmers for ‘public goods’, such as healthy soils, BASIS is preparing to launch two qualifications which will arm the industry with knowledge and skills to enhance soil quality, biodiversity and sustainability.

Dr Aliona Jones, BASIS technical manager, explains that the new courses, due to start in early 2019, will be set at two different levels, and candidates can choose the most appropriate one for their needs.

‘Foundation in Soils’

“The primary ‘Foundation in Soils’ qualification will help farmers and advisers to better understand the relationship between physical structure, as well as biological and chemical processes,” she says.

“Farmers are increasingly finding that soil quality and productivity are complementary. So, the training will focus on how farming practices can positively and negatively influence a soil’s functionality.

“For example, it’s well known that the use of heavy machinery can lead to compaction, and overstocking grazing land can cause poaching. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that lower levels of stocking can beneficially return nutrients to the soil.”

Monitoring changes within the soil and assessing trends is another essential aspect of management that will be covered in the training.

‘Quality of soils’

The second qualification will build on the success of existing BASIS modules as well as the knowledge from the ‘Foundation in Soils’ course. It will give further insight into improving the resilience of farming systems through increased understanding of the soil ‘ecosystem’.

“A fully functioning soil with appropriate structure, chemistry and biology will enable symbiotic interaction with plants. This improves resilience to machinery traffic as well as weather extremes, such as the cold spell and drought we’ve seen this year,” says Aliona.

The new courses have come to fruition following a strong industry demand, with organisations such as the AHDB, AIC, AICC and ADAS all playing a key part.

AHDB knowledge exchange director, Dr Susannah Bolton, explains that building trust in advice on best practice soil management is essential to drive forward uptake of new knowledge and innovation in agriculture.

“These qualifications will be vital in underpinning the advisory process, while ensuring that we’re working with the best possible understanding of soil management,” she says.

Start the New Year with 12 BASIS points from LAMMA

BASIS members attending LAMMA, on 8 and 9 January, can collect up to six CPD points per day.

Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO, explains that members should visit stand 717 in Hall 10 and present their membership ID card to gain two points for attendance. Those without a card can simply fill out a form with their details.

“Additional points can be gained by participating in the LAMMA knowledge trail,” he says.

“Members should pick up a stamp-card before visiting participating exhibitors and completing an activity. Upon completion, the card will be stamped and should be handed in to the BASIS team at the end of the day in exchange for points.”

BASIS points available at LAMMA

Activity Points Available

Day 1 Day 2

General attendance two points two points

Knowledge trail one point per activity, one point per activity,
up to a maximum of  up to a maximum of 
four points four points


Looking to become a BASIS member?

All BASIS courses are specially designed for individuals working in agriculture, who want to develop their knowledge to stay up to date with the latest technical innovations, best practice guidelines and regulations.

“As well as the popular BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection, a range of qualifications are available and will be showcased at the event, including the FACTS certification,” says Stephen.

“This course will provide farmers and advisers with an understanding of fertilisers and plant nutrition, to enable them to make environmentally and economically sound decisions on-farm.”

For further information please visit www.basis-reg.co.uk or call 01335 343975.

Pick up 12 BASIS points at Croptec

BASIS members attending Croptec, on 28 and 29 November, can collect up to a maximum of 6 BASIS CPD points per day.

Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO, explains that members should visit stand 2 in hall 2 and present their membership ID card to gain two points for attendance. Those without their card can simply fill out a form with their details.

“Additional points can be gained by participating in the Croptec knowledge trail,” he says.

“Members should pick up a stamp-card from the stand before visiting participating exhibitors and completing an activity. Upon completion the card will be stamped and should be handed in at the BASIS stand at the end of the day in exchange for points.”

BASIS points available at Croptec

Activity Points Available

Day 1 Day 2

General attendance  two points two points

Knowledge trail one point per activity, one point per activity,
up to a maximum of  up to a maximum of 
four points four points four points four points


Looking to become a BASIS member?

All BASIS courses are specially designed for individuals working in agriculture, who want to develop their knowledge to stay up to date with the latest technical innovations, best practice guidelines and regulations.

“As well as the popular BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection, a range of courses are available and will be showcased at the event, including the Certificate in Soil and Water Management,” says Stephen.

“This course will assist farmers and advisers in managing these vital resources in a sustainable way. It will help candidates to protect the environment while striving for the best yield, which could be key to receiving payments as part of the new Agriculture Bill,” he says.

12 BASIS CPD points available at SALTEX

BASIS members will be able to collect up to 12 CPD points at this year’s two-day SALTEX event.

Six points will be available each day, two of which will be awarded for general attendance, and a further four will be on offer for participating in the ‘Learning Live’ sessions.

Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO, recommends joining the free educational sessions, to hear more about the latest industry updates and innovations.

“As part of the ‘Learning Live’ programme, I’ll be speaking in the Amenity Forum Question Time, at 2pm on day one. This will give delegates an opportunity to quiz the panel on current issues regarding pest and disease control,” he explains.

“The session will be led by Professor John Moverley, chair of the Amenity Forum, and other panel members will include Ruth Mann from the STRI and Will Kay from Languard.”

For a full list of the ‘Learning Live’ sessions, please visit www.iogsaltex.com/learning-live. For further information about BASIS, please visit www.basis-reg.co.uk or call 01335 343945.

How to collect BASIS points

Activity Points Available
Day 1 Day 2

General attendance Two points Two points

Learning Live One point per One point per
Sessions session, total of session, total of
four points four points





Top up your BASIS points at the National Fruit Show

BASIS members attending the National Fruit Show, from 24 – 25 October, will have the opportunity to collect up to four BASIS CPD points.

Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO, explains that to collect their points for attendance, members should visit stand H8 and present their membership card to be scanned. Those without a card can simply fill out a form with their details.

“The team will be on hand to assist members with points collection and can provide advice and guidance on further courses and CPD opportunities to build on expertise.”

Looking to become a BASIS member?

Stephen explains that all BASIS courses are specially designed for individuals working in the sector, who want to develop their knowledge to stay up to date with the latest technical initiatives, best practice guidelines and regulations.

“As well as our popular Certificate in Crop Protection (Commercial Horticulture) we can offer a range of advanced crop modules for focused learning on soft fruit, trop fruit and hops or field vegetables.”

For more information on joining BASIS or taking a training course, please visit www.basis-reg.co.uk or call 01335 343945.

New BETA Conservation Management course

We’ve combined our popular ‘BETA - Biodiversity and Environmental Training for Advisers ’ and ‘Conservation Management’ courses to create a new ‘ BASIS BETA Conservation Management course’ that delivers a complete and up to date package on conservation and environment improvement across the UK.

Environmental stewardship and sustainability have been at the core of BASIS training courses for many years, but with the issue highlighted in the government’s Health and Harmony white paper, 2018 has been the perfect year to launch the ‘BETA Conservation Management qualification’.

Together with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), University of Lincoln, and two independent BASIS Approved Trainers Alasdair Lowe Limited and James Christian-Ilett BASIS has combined two previous courses – ‘BASIS BETA’ and ‘BASIS Conservation Management’ to create a unique qualification.

Sue Mason, Examinations & Training Manager explains that the short-course has been designed for individuals advising on all aspects of environmental management, conservation and stewardship.

“The core module covers sustainable farming and integrated farm management (IFM) as well as environmental protection and conservation issues.

“Following this, there is a choice of two modules, one aimed at those working directly within farming, and the other for those providing environmental advice in  farming and countryside management. For example, water company advisers,” she says.

Course details

·        Four to five-day face to face training

·        Three hour examination time (for those taking all modules)

o   25 multiple choice questions and five short answer questions on the core module

o   10 multiple choice questions and three short answer questions for each additional specialism

Coming soon: New qualifications to help enhance soil quality

We always aim to keep up with industry demands, and this means regularly creating, updating and launching new training courses. So, as soil quality and biodiversity management become an increasingly essential aspect of farming, we’ll be launching two new courses to help equip candidates with the skills and knowledge they need to help enhance farm sustainability.

In early 2019 BASIS is set to launch two brand new qualifications that will arm candidates with the knowledge and skills to help manage soils for enhanced  quality, biodiversity and long-term sustainability.

Foundation in Soils

Dr Aliona Jones, BASIS technical manager, explains that the ‘Foundation in Soils’ qualification will enable farmers and advisers to understand the relationship between physical structure, and the biological or chemical processes, that contribute to the quality of a soil.

“Farmers are increasingly finding that soil quality and productivity are complementary, so the training will focus on how farming practices can positively and negatively influence a soil’s functionality.

“For example, it’s well known that use of heavy machinery can lead to compaction, and overstocking grazing land can cause poaching. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that lower levels of stocking can beneficially return nutrients to the soil.”

She adds that monitoring changes within the soil, and assessing trends is another essential aspect of management, that will be covered in the syllabus.

Quality of Soils

The second qualification will build on the success of existing BASIS modules, and acts as a step-up from the ‘Foundation in Soils’, giving further insight into improving the resilience of farming systems through increased understanding of the soil ‘ecosystem’.

“A fully functioning soil with appropriate structure, chemistry and biology will enable symbiotic interaction with plants, which improves resilience to machinery traffic as well as weather extremes, such as the cold spell and drought we’ve seen this year,” says Aliona.

She explains that the two courses have come to fruition following a clear industry demand.

“The overarching feedback from our ‘Soil and Water’ course candidates, as well as two membership surveys, highlighted the high demand of training relating to soil quality enhancement  as well as biodiversity.”

Course details

Foundation in Soils

·        Level four (higher education) certificate accredited by Harper Adams University

·        Four to five day short-course

·        1.5 hour examination time

o   25 question multiple choice paper

o   Five question short answer paper

Quality of Soils

·        Level six (graduate) certificate accredited by Harper Adams University

·        Five day short-course

·        2.5 hour examination time

o   Six out of ten short answer questions

o   VIVA examination to assess applied knowledge and understanding in a practical context

Keep on top of safe pesticide storage

The industry is coming under increasing pressure to produce food with minimal impact to the environment. So, it’s important not to overlook chemical storage practices, and review these ahead of purchasing decisions for next season. BASIS store auditor, Peter Scott gives his top tips on the subject.

Most farm chemical stores are well maintained, but during busy periods it’s easy to overlook best practice and regulations, which can lead to costly consequences, from fines to fire damage.

Because of this, BASIS store auditor, Peter Scott, gives advice on how to review stores and best practice. He highlights various steps that can be taken to minimise fire risk, reduce waste and limit contamination.

“I normally start by reminding farmers of what not to have in the store. There are a lot of disinfectant product that shouldn’t be kept near pesticides, as they’re oxidisers. Should a fire breakout, the gases produce when the two substances combine can be extremely dangerous,” he says.

“Also, in the case of a fire, current records of pesticide stock will help to speed up treatment, but they’re mandatory for most assurance schemes, including Red Tractor, so this shouldn’t be an issue for most,” adds Peter.

Laurence Matthews, Red Tractor combinable crops and sugar beet chair, explains that Red Tractor standards require up to date stock lists that assist in product rotation. This means that older products are used first and only those with a current MAPP number are used.

Peter mentions that many chemicals are highly flammable. “If your store has a wooden door, I’d suggest replacing it or adding a metal plate – this could provide an additional 30 minutes to contain the fire.

“Many chemicals become unstable if frozen, so keeping them frost-free can help to maintain the efficacy of pesticides. Insulating the store before cold weather will go a long way to minimising frost damage.

While it is important to make sure the store is set up correctly, but the way in which chemicals are kept can also improve safety credentials.

 “In general, liquids should be kept below dry products such as slug pellets, to avoid drips contaminating other products in the case of a leak,” explains Peter.

Assurance schemes stipulate good standards and Laurence Matthews reiterates that Red Tractor stresses that safe and secure chemical storage is essential to ensuring the safety of operators, the production of safe food and having minimal impact on the environment.

Top tips for pesticide storage

·        Make sure the store is bunded

·        Store powders above liquids

·        Don’t keep oxidising products in the store, if possible

·        Protect against frost with insulation or black heat

·        Use non-absorbent shelving

·        Correct signage should be used

·        Keep flammable products in a separate and marked area

·        Regularly check and rotate stocks

·        Keep two copies of stock records, one in store and one away

·        Ensure lighting is adequate for reading bottle labels

·        Keep products in their original packaging

·        A spill kit should be available

 

BASIS Registration Ltd

St Monica's House, 39 Windmill Lane,
Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1EY
T: 01335 343945
F: 01335 301205
E: help@basis-reg.co.uk


BASIS is a registered charity (No. 1077006) and a
company limited by guarantee registered in England (No. 1365343)