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FARM ONLINE | Spray drift issues need to be addressed to avoid further regulation

GRAIN industry leaders are warning the industry needs to work harder to minimise occurrences of severe spray drift if it wants all forms of chemistry to remain freely available.

There have been high profile spray drift incidents in Queensland where cotton has been severely damaged by drift, believed to be caused by spraying during inversion conditions.

Despite high profile education campaigns and the advent of technology designed to help predict inversion conditions, such as the Goanna Telemetry app, crop damage is still occurring, leading to questions regarding potential restrictions of the product or of application hours.

Grain grower leaders and spray drift experts said the trend towards larger farms meant some operators may be pushing too hard when it came to spraying hours.

"This is very much a small minority but unfortunately as an industry we are only as good as our lowest common denominator," said Grain Producers Australia board member and chairman of the National Working Party on Pesticide Application Andrew Weidemann.

"As farms get larger there is increasing pressure to get over more and more hectares and there is only a limited amount of time in the day," he said.

"In spite of a concerted industry campaign to highlight the risks of spraying in inversion conditions it appears some people are still taking the risk which is going to be detrimental to all if we end up with a situation where use of 2,4-D is restricted or even banned or if blanket exclusion zones are implemented."


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