Tuesday, 21 November 2017 Sydney
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Don’t Get The Drift - Think Before You Spray::

Think about neighbours, particularly with vineyards, and don’t underestimate the potential distance of impact before spraying weeds this spring, PIRSA is warning crop producers.

Actively growing grapevines are highly susceptible to herbicides and were the subject of off-target damage from spray drift or chemical trespass following summer rainfall events early in 2017.

Certain weather conditions such as inversions, can result in spray drift damage up to tens of kilometres from the application site, so producers must consider sensitive crops that might be some distance away when planning a spray operation.

Being careless when spraying can also hit the hip pocket. This follows a Berri farmer recently found to be guilty of three offences relating to non-compliance with following mandatory label instructions. The offences can carry a maximum penalty of $35,000 per offence reflecting the seriousness of not following mandatory label instructions. The Berri farmer was fined a total of $7,000 and court costs with the judge clear that the fine be a deterrent to others.

Background

Correct use of agricultural chemicals maximises the cost effective use of chemicals and the quality and yield of crops. However when used incorrectly, they can impact on your neighbours, local communities and trade. Importantly it can also put South Australia’s premium food and wine from a clean environment at risk.

For information on avoiding spray drift and best practice chemical use visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/rural_chemicals/chemical_use_best_practice

Quotes attributable to Manager Rural Chemical Operations, Michael McManus

Cropping producers are looking closely at weed control options with moist soils and warm weather promoting weed growth.

It is vitally important to be aware of sensitive crops in your surrounding area and check that weather conditions are suitable for spraying before you start.

Follow the label directions carefully, monitor changing weather conditions and always keep accurate records.

PIRSA (Biosecurity SA) will continue to pursue anyone who has either deliberately or negligently caused damage to others by not following regulatory requirements for agricultural chemical use.