FACTS*

Overview The Fertiliser Advisers Certification & Training Scheme (FACTS) is a nationally validated course developed by the fertiliser industry as a form of self-regulation. It was set up in response to an E.U. investigation into the standards of competence of those advising on fertiliser use.

Who is the Course for? Everyone advising on the use of fertilisers should have a high degree of competence and due regard for the protection of the environment.

Course Content: The course covers:-

The soil in relation to nutrient availability.
Nature and properties of organic and inorganic fertilisers.
Plant nutrient requirements and the basis for calculating fertiliser requirements.
Transport and storage of fertiliser Use of fertilisers on main plant groups.
Legal Requirements and Code of Practice.
The emphasis is on practical knowledge applicable when selling or advising farmers and giving advice that is economically and environmentally sound.

Assessment To successfully complete the course a candidate must:

pass a multiple choice examination;
satisfy a BASIS panel that he/she has a good working knowledge of the course material.

Trainee View: Tony Bell, a farmer and spraying contractor from Newtownards, successfully completed the FACTS course in early 2011.

I thought the course was excellent. It brought me back to basics, forcing me to think about my soil. I have introduced oilseed rape to my crop rotation and disc in the straw to improve my soil structure. When you are spending a lot on soil tests and fertilisers you need to have your soil right.

During the FACTS course we also discussed the use of liquid N. This was very useful during the dry April we had this year when the fertiliser I had spread was having little affect. So I melted prilled urea in water and sprayed it onto the winter wheat getting an immediate response. There was no waste, with nothing going into the headlands and  it was fast and cost effective”

tonybellTony Bell, a farmer and spraying contractor from Newtownards, successfully completed the FACTS course in early 2011.