As part of its statutory mandate, the Julius Kuehn Institute offers manufacturers of plant protection equipment voluntary inspections of their products. In addition, together with the plant protection services of the federal states, we are responsible for inspecting plant protection equipment in use. We also carry out special testing of seed drills and seed treatment facilities.
By using efficient crop protection equipments and seed drills, crop protection products (PPPs) can be applied with low loss and high precision, minimizing environmental risks. JKI's testing and standardization work ensures that crop protection technology complies with legal requirements.
We offer manufacturers of crop protection equipment various voluntary tests to help them meet the legal requirements. Our tests range from checking the documents provided by the manufacturer for completeness and plausibility (document review) to technical inspections and the official approval of equipment.
The approval procedure is carried out jointly with the plant protection services of the German federal states. Our specialist Institute for Application Technology in Plant Protection checks the equipment on the test stand, while the field testing centers of the plant protection services test it in practical use. This dual testing approach ensures a reliable and neutral assessment of whether a device is suitable for use in crop protection.
If the equipment passes the approval procedure successfully, it can be labelled with a JKI seal of approval. Besides entire machines, also parts, like nozzles, are being tested.
Minimizing drift and pesticide use – extended tests at the JKI: JKI-approved equipment can additionally be tested for drift-reducing and PPP-saving properties that go beyond the minimum legal standards and fulfill additional requirement. For this purpose, the manufacturers must submit data from drift measurements that were conducted in accordance with the JKI guidelines. Successfully tested devices are included in the BMEL's positive list for special funding programmes to support farms that want to invest in modern environmentally and climate friendly technology.
The purpose of inspecting crop protection technology in use is to identify wear-related defects that may impair the metering and distribution accuracy of the equipment.
This regular inspection of equipment in use is regulated by law and carried out by the federal states in officially authorized workshops. In order to enable a uniform nation-wide assessment in line with EU standards, the JKI provides the workshops with guidelines containing technical standards for testing the equipment. To this end, the JKI Institute for Application Technology in Plant Protection has been appointed to head the working group "Plant Protection Equipment Inspection“ that includes experts of both the federal government and the federal states.
Seed dressings containing certain pesticides applied to the seed are only allowed to be done in approved facilities. These must meet technical specifications, such as efficient dust extraction systems and gentle treatment of the seed in order to avoid abrasion that is hazardous to the environment and health. Seed treatment facilities that meet the quality criteria are listed by the JKI.
Depending on the seed dressing applied, seed drills and, if applicable, their associated conversion kits must be inspected by the JKI as well. Seed drills approved for sowing dressed seed are listed accordingly.
For free trade and circulation of plant protection products, the testing of equipment must meet uniform requirements in the EU and worldwide. Based on our national testing activities and research, we collaborate on drafting internationally valid standards for test methods and technical requirements.
Since 2013, the JKI has been involved in the European Network for Testing of Agricultural Machines (ENTAM) to standardize the testing of crop protection equipment in ENTAM member states. In 2022, the network was reorganized and renamed ENTAM 2.0.
According to the motto "Tested once - recognized throughout Europe", unnecessary multiple tests in European trade are avoided and the manufacturers' time and costs are saved. The aim is to provide the agricultural machinery industry, contractors and farmers within the ENTAM network with the same access to safe and high-performance machines.