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Introduction to BASIS Crop Protection

Introduction:

This module will provide you with the practical training for the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection and complements the academic training and experience on weeds, crop pests and diseases captured in other modules. BASIS is an essential career qualification for agronomists, trials managers, consultants and employees of any company prescribing crop protection chemicals, including sales staff.

The BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection has been established since 1978 to provide training and certification for sellers of agrochemicals and those giving advice on their use. In 1985 the Food & Environment Protection Act (FEPA) made certification a statutory obligation for pesticide sellers. The BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection has been approved by Ministers to meet the requirements of Schedule 2 of FEPA for certification for those involved in sale and supply of pesticides.

To be successful in your careers, you must be able to give sound technical advice in the field. The syllabus and training programme has therefore been devised to provide practical instruction wherever possible. There will be in-field training throughout the course which will be split up to cover all stages of field preparation, crop establishment, phases of growth and maturation and harvesting. This will include learning field-identification of weeds, pests and diseases of all the major crop groups in the UK. You will be taught how to prepare a programme for the control of weeds, pests and diseases within safe, economic and environmental parameters. An appreciation of the options between chemical types and formulations from different companies, of the benefits of treatment versus non-treatment, of symptom-analysis and tools for diagnosis and the weighting of benefits over remediation will all be covered within the framework of Health and Safety on the farm.


Objectives: 

  • Recognise agricultural problems in various agricultural crops and environments and assess the range of solutions.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically assess the benefits of various crop protection options and evaluate the most appropriate action after considering local profitability, environmental pressures and agronomic practices.
  • Diagnose pest, weed and disease problems in a range of crop type.
  • Appreciate prevailing agronomic practices.
  • Appreciate farm health and safety.
  • Communication of appropriate diagnosis and remediation options.
  • Evaluation of pressures from crop biology, profitability and prevailing environment.

Contents:

This is a field/farm-based module of practicals and interactive discussions with the trainer. It exemplifies real, day-to-day commercial agronomy testing, sampling, dialogue and exploration of practical options for crop protection.

The syllabus is listed against topic, but the delivery will be spread throughout the year in order for the students to experience the differing challenges and treatment options as the crop grows, as the weather changes and as the markets vary.

  • Soils: classification, structure, nutrient analysis, mapping (including yield mapping).
  • Plant growth regulators: history of development, stem and root effects, case study of eg. the benefits of triazole (fungicide) in providing PGR effect.
  • Oilseed Rape: crop establishment techniques including Autocast and Direct Drilling. Control of weeds, pests and diseases. Desiccation and harvesting techniques.
  • Cereal Agronomy (Wheat, Barley and Oats): variety selection, seed treatments, seed cleaning and seed rates. Weed control for grass weeds and broadleaf weeds. Disease and pest control. Awareness of strategies for managing resistance to herbicides and fungicides. Harvesting and storing.
  • Sugar Beet: weed, disease and pest control – options, treatments, applications and analysis of option
  • Potatoes: weed, disease and pest control - options, treatments, applications and analysis of options.
  • Peas, Beans, Linseed: weed, disease and pest control - options, treatments, applications and analysis of options.
  • Use of Farm Sprayers: construction, mounted/trailed. Boom stability, nozzle selection, induction method for mixing, volumes of water. Personal protection equipment (PPE). Disposal of packaging. National Sprayer testing Scheme (NSTS). National Register of Sprayer Operators (NRoSO).
  • Legal requirements of written recommendations. Legislation on Label Approvals. Storage of crop protection products on farm and distribution premises. Crop Assurance schemes.
  • Tutorial, revision and assessment day.

*NOTE: The full BASIS Certificate is rated at 30 credits. This module makes up part of this learning, with understanding of weeds, pests and diseases and control measures contributed in other, specialised modules on this course. The module is assessed internally for the MSc. If students choose to take the examinations to become BASIS registered, Registration and the Professional Register are administered by BASIS (Registration) Ltd.