How will the new SUD’s legislation changes affect greenkeepers?

. minute read

As the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD)’s legislation changes around sprayer testing near, Neil Adams, head of training at Reesink Turfcare, explains how it will affect greenkeeping professionals and offers advice on how to prepare.

Coming into effect on 26th November 2016, the SUD requires that all active pesticide application equipment has an NSTS Certificate.

NSTS is the National Sprayer Testing Scheme for the UK and satisfies the sprayer testing requirements of the SUD, which, mandatory throughout the EU, is designed to further enhance the high level of protection achieved through the entire regulatory system for pesticides.

Outlining what the new legislation entails, Neil says: “The NSTS test will become a requirement for all boom sprayers by 2016 under the requirements of the SUD.

“The legislation change applies to all sprayers, aside from knapsack and hand-held,” Neil stresses. “This includes boom, air blast and all vehicle mounted sprayers, as well as ATV mounted and those of less than three metres boom width.”

By 2020 sprayers of three metres boom width or more with an existing NSTS Certificate must have been tested within the past five years, by which point the requirement for re-testing reduces to every three years.

Sprayers of less than three metres boom width, however, only need to be tested every six years after 2020.

Continuing, Neil outlines the main benefits of sprayer testing: “The test not only ensures the efficiency of your sprayer, reduces costly downtime and creates savings in chemical usage, it also contributes to operator safety and accurate application.”

The comprehensive NSTS test consists of 47 test items – the first 30 of which must be satisfied to receive a pass certificate – which cover all the application components of the sprayer to ensure the machine is working correctly and efficiently with further considerations of safety for the sprayer operative and the environment.

These are simple checks to make to see how up to date you are, which break down into different categories such as mechanical, electrical and personal. Here’s a handy list of the things you should be checking:



Is the attachment to the tractor secure?

Is the chassis and structure free of cracks and rust?

Are the wheels and tyres in good condition?

Are the guards, including PTO shaft guard, secure and undamaged?


Hydraulic system (including the tracking system if fitted)

Are they free from leaks under pressure?

Are the hoses and connections worn or cracked?

Electrical system

Is the wiring undamaged and are all connections properly insulated?

Do all the lights work properly?

Pneumatic system

Is the system free from leaks when under working under operating pressures?

Sprayer tank

Are the tank/chassis fasteners secure and free from leaks?

Does the lid fit securely and free from leaks?

Is the contents gauge clearly legible?


Is it properly latched when folded for transport?

When unfolded, is it straight and level?

Does the height adjustment and suspension work properly?

Does the boom return to level when displaced to left and right?

Are the break-backs functioning freely?

Are the mountings and linkages secure and not worn?

‘Spray lines’

Are they free from leaks under pressure?

Are the hoses and connectors worn or cracked?

Are all valves and filters in good condition?


Are all fittings and turrets in good condition?

Are all nozzles correctly orientated?

Are all check-valves working properly?

Is the spray/distribution pattern visually correct?

Controls and valves

Are the master on/off switches working correctly?

Are all boom section switches functioning?

Can you read the pressure gauges easily?

Are all labels appropriate and legible?

Is the pressure adjustment stable?

Is the pressure gauge reading zero?

Chemical induction system

Are the system and controls working properly?

Is it free from leaks under pressure?

Are all labels appropriate and readable?

Is the rinse system and container wash system working properly?

Tank rinse system

Is the system functioning properly?

External washdown

Is the system functioning properly?


Is the water supply tank filled?

Is the clothing locker clean and contents complete?

Prior to the sprayer testing legislation changes, pesticide application has been hot topic in the turfcare industry since regulations that implement the SUD came into effect in the UK.

Neil goes on to explain: “Other important updates in the industry include changes in ‘grandfather rights’, which came into effect November 2015.

“Previously, anyone born before 31 December 1964 did not need a specified Certificate of Competence (CoC) to apply professional plant protection products (PPP). As of now, however, everyone requires a CoC to apply pesticides,” he adds.