National Sprayer Test Scheme - Billericay Farm Services (BFS)
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National Sprayer Test Scheme

BFS have a fully equipped and certified NSTS testing centre work shop and engineers. Due to the ever increasing cost of pesticides, the need to sustain public confidence and a requirement to achieve maximum effectiveness, it clearly makes sense to ensure that a sprayer is operating safely and efficiently.


A sprayer certified by an approved N.S.T.S Test Centre should:

  • Perform at maximum efficiency throughout the spraying season
  • Avoid costly down time during critical spraying periods
  • Reduce unnecessary and costly chemical waste
  • Demonstrate that pesticides have been applied at recommended rates
  • Comply with Health & Safety responsibilities
  • Increase second hand values


And provide:

  • Compliance with crop assurance requirements
  • Convenient on-farm or Test Centre examination
  • Examination by a qualified engineer
  • Comprehensive written Test Report.


Test Requirements (before you are tested make sure..)

  1. The power unit and sprayer are connected up and ready for test
  2. The sprayer is decontaminated inside and out
  3. The sprayer has a minimum of 200 litres of clean water on arrival
  4. There is an appropriate hard standing area to test the sprayer with clean water.


The Test

Can be carried out at the BFS Downham, Test Centre or on a farm. Waste water will be returned to the sprayer.

It will be conducted using the N.S.T.S Test Report. All the sprayer’s details must be logged before the test is conducted.

The examiner has the authority to refuse to perform the Test if the sprayer, in his opinion, is unsafe, e.g. PTO guard missing or is in a dirty condition.

If a sprayer is withdrawn from the Test at this time, or fails the Test and is not re-tested, the Fee has to be paid and the Test Report returned to the N.S.T.S The owner will be notified that his machine has failed the Test.

If the machine has a problem during the Test that can be easily rectified it can be done and the Test continued.


The Pass

When a sprayer passes the Test, the Test label (with the number corresponding to that of the relevant Test Report) is attached to the sprayer by the examiner.

Test information is logged on the N.S.T.S computer. Twelve months from the last Test a reminder will be sent out to the owner.

The reminder will also ask for information about the sprayer, if it is no longer in service, or if it has been sold.


Benefits of Accurate Application

The table below shows the most common faults found on sprayers, which have failed the Sprayer Test.


Fault Failure Rate

  • Worn Jets 36%
  • Worn Hoses 25%
  • Water/hydraulic leaks 20%
  • Faulty Pressure Gauge 20%
  • Unsafe PTO 17%
  • Unreadable Sight Gauge 17%


Worn jets delivering only 5% more than the recommended rate, cost significant sums of money in excessive chemical usage. Even those machines with sophisticated computer control will not be getting the best results with worn jets due to the effect on spray quality and chemical efficacy.