NSW GROWERS URGED TO USE PILOT PERMIT TO IMPROVE SPRAY DRIFT


Grain Producers Australia (GPA) is calling on NSW grain farmers to participate in an on-farm pilot program that can help to improve spray drift management practices and increase on-farm productivity.


The Agricultural Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) recently approved a pilot permit to GPA, which will allow the use of specific pesticide products, when working with the Spray Drift Management Tool (SDMT).


The Tool will be utilised in the NSW-specific project to assess the potential recalculation of spray drift buffer zones, with the APVMA permit valid from 14 July 2021 to 31 July 2022.


The SDMT was developed through the support of the National Working Party on Pesticide Application and it is approved by the APVMA.


As part of its role representing the Australian grains industry, GPA manages such industry permits, issued under the APVMA’s emergency and minor use program.


These permits support the grain’s industry’s ability to manage pests, weeds and crop disease better, and support productivity gains for farmers in grain growing regions throughout Australia.


The NSW spray drift pilot project is being overseen by highly experienced farm technology and pesticides expert Dr Rohan Rainbow, working as a consultant advisor to GPA.


The pilot’s main objectives is to identify the value of the SDMT in simplifying current complex chemical labels in providing a practical benefit to users, in legally using drift reduction technologies which reduce spray buffer zones.


The pilot permit will deliver opportunity for potential user benefits such as; reducing user reliance on increasingly complex labels; and increasing user understanding of a SDMT for managing application parameters and managing off-target drift.


Dr Rainbow said capturing individual user feedback and experience is vital to the project’s success and he urged NSW growers to get involved, to help drive real improvements for their industry.


He said while participation requires some additional reporting processes, it will also make a valuable contribution towards the development of better spray drift policy in Australia.


“As part of this commitment, there will inevitably be some additional input in terms of; understanding how to use the SDMT; keeping records of what you have done; and providing feedback on the SDMT at the end of the pilot. However, this contribution is all part of an innovative GPA project that aims to improve productivity for growers,” he said.


“Access to this Tool will also be really useful for simplifying the use of 2,4-D to manage spray drift, and follow the label.”


This SDMT is available to NSW applicators via email request to GPA with further information, including a video presentation from Dr Rainbow, available on the GPA website here:

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