mobile feed weather

Visit our new site for more help on spraying pesticides with a knapsack sprayer.

Knapsack spraying: best practices

The key points of the 'Knapsack spraying best practices' are summarised below. Please also view the full set of practices or download the full set of practices as a pdf file (536Mb).

Knapsack spraying best practices; key points summarised

Exercise caution at all times.

Read and understand the CPP label.

  • Check that the CPP has not expired.
  • Check, when selecting CPPs for use, the WHO hazard classification colour coding band and chose the least hazardous
  • Handle and transport CPPs with caution
  • Transport CPPs separately from foodstuff or animals.

Use the CPP only for the use as stated on label

  • Follow label instructions for use (crops, target pests, application rates [doses] and water volume rates).
  • Do not exceed maximum spray solution concentrations
  • Use label specified equipment and methods such as those specifying nozzle types and pressures
  • Do not exceed the label stated doses and frequency of use

Apply the CPP ‘on time’ when crop/pest/weather conditions are as stated

  • Ensure ‘Post harvest intervals’ [time between spraying and crop harvesting] can be and are met
  • Use Integrated Pest Management Methods [IPM] as advised
  • Understand the meaning of the pictograms – used to emphasise relevant safety needs
  • Read, understand and be able to comply with emergency procedures.
  • Keep CPPs safe - under ‘lock and key’, out of the reach of children and animals.
  • Always keep CPPs in the original container – complete with intact, readable label - supplied by its manufacturer
  • Never refill or repackage CPPs into any other container; exceptionally, contents of a leaking container may be decanted – only into an identical emptied container in good condition - to allow its continued safe use.  

Wear appropriate Personal Protective clothing and Equipment (PPE).

  • Note that different products and application methods sometimes require different PPE.
  • Follow the label CPPs for PPE requirements for both measuring, mixing and spraying. In addition, eye and hand protection are also required when preparing spray solutions. A dust mask is required when mixing powder formulations.
  • Note that the minimum requirement is head cover with use of cap or hat, long sleeved shirt, long trousers and non-absorbent footwear when spraying with nozzle at less than waist height.
  • Wash gloves before removal to avoid secondary contamination.
  • Wear a hat and do not spray during the hottest part of the day.
  • Avoid operator exposure to any spray drift.
  • Do not spray in windy conditions.

Dispose of emptied CPP containers as defined by Best Practices. 

  • Triple rinse emptied CPP containers and dispose of rinsates as part of the spray solution being prepared.
  • Do not discard empty containers in the field, ditches or water courses.
  • Do not reuse empty CPP containers for any other purpose.
  • Do not bury, burn or recycle unwashed CPP containers.
  • Do not allow children near CPP waste.
  • Do not allow CPP containers to accumulate above your safe storage capacity.
  • Do not allow CPP container washings to enter any water course
  • Do dispose of emptied, cleaned CPP containers through local recycle schemes or other well managed, approved methods.

Ensure good personal hygiene.

  • Wash splashes of Crop Protection Products immediately from skin and/or eyes.
  • Have available an adequate supply of drinking water to avoid dehydration.
  • Do not eat, smoke or drink whilst handling, working with or applying Crop Protection Products.
  • Wash yourself and clothes after working with Crop Protection Products.
  • Wash spray clothes separately from the domestic washing.
  • Wash before drinking and or eating.
  • Do not work with CPP if you feel unwell before you start. 

Check, calibrate and maintain application equipment.

  • Check spraying equipment before use
  • DO ensure any leaks are repaired before use.
  • Check the nozzle is working correctly, is clean and do replace if necessary.
  • Calibrate spraying equipment at least once a season depending on the amount of use  (or whenever the field condition/crop, operator, nozzle, application rate or other spraying requirements are changed).
  • Do not use adjustable nozzles.
  • Clean spraying equipment after use
  • Store spraying equipment securely away from children, animals and feed.

Help us to keep these practices up-to-date

These practices have been proposed, reviewed and collated during 2008 by experts from 10 countries in three continents. They are intended as a reference source for all with interests in agricultural and horticultural Crop Protection Products [pesticides] in our shared quest to ensure that every operator of knapsack sprayers has the same, equal opportunity to use these products in the safest, most effective and efficient manner.

National and/or regional adaptation may be necessary to conform with and/or support local legislation, Codes of Practice and other initiatives that share comparable ideals to these BKSPs. It is hoped that these BKSPs support rather than conflict with that approved and recognised advice.

The intention of these BKSPs is that they should always represent the ‘industries best practices’ and as such should be constantly reviewed - please use the forum or email to send us your comments and suggestions for improvements.