Expert advice

Correct storage of plant protection products

The basic rules of storage of plant protection products are determined legally, and they were determined, among others, in the Polish act on plant protection products and the ordinances issued with respect to it, and the cross-compliance standards and requirements. Failure to observe them brings about a risk of sanctions, however, the result of improper storage of plant protection products, beside the risk of financial penalties and possible environmental hazards, one also runs the risk of a reduction of the quality of the products themselves.

Storage temperature

One of the mistakes most commonly made during the storage of plant protection products is the lack of possibility of stepless adjustment of temperature in the room, where they are stored. Plant protection products are none other than chemical substances having specific properties with respect to other organisms. They are able to maintain these, however, within a specific temperature range; when it is exceeded, they may lose their practical properties, meaning that their effectiveness is reduced. As long as the users remember that the storage temperature should not fall below a certain level, the necessity of suitable ventilation in the summer period is not necessarily remembered, possibly leading to overheating of the plant protection products.

Air humidity

Changes to air humidity, particularly its increases, are particularly problematic for plant protection products in solid form – WP, SG. It is very often the case in terms of plant protection products that their package makes reclosing and appropriate sealing impossible. In cases of high air humidity, solid substances take up moisture from the air – they clump up and increase mass, hence it is difficult to weigh a specific volume of them. This applies to a great extent to the storage of sulphureates, which are available mainly in solid form and should be used in low doses per hectare. The phenomenon of hygroscopicity (binding of water from the air) is particularly noticeable in solid leaf fertilisers.

Packaging

Plant protection products should unconditionally be stored in original packages, with the original label – instructions for use – maintained. This gives the user the possibility of insight into the rules of dosing and the scope of crops, and informs about the procedure in case of any hazards related to the usage of the product. The original package in many cases allows the user to reseal the package tightly – without access of air and without the risk of any spills. The most important thing, however, is the fact that one has 100% certainty about what is found inside the specific package, else one could be confused between the actual content and the product indicated on the label. The risk of error is increased with the increase of the number of users of the storage space.

If one stores only limited volumes of plant protection resources, their storage can be facilitated by special chests or lockers made of fire-resistant and water-tight materials, if the volumes are greater, one needs a suitably adapted room.

Irrespective of where one stores the plant protection products, the storage space should be appropriately marked and prevent access by third parties; the storage of food or animal feed in such a room is forbidden.

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