With the summer weed spraying imminent, Grain Producers Australia (GPA) is reminding NSW grain farmers they can still participate in an on-farm pilot program designed to improve spray drift management practices and increase on-farm productivity.
In July last year, the Agricultural Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) approved a pilot permit to GPA, to allow use of specific pesticide products, when working with the Spray Drift Management Tool (SDMT). The APVMA permit is valid until 31 July 2022.
The SDMT is being utilised in the NSW-specific project to assess the potential recalculation of spray drift buffer zones. It was developed through the National Working Party on Pesticide Application and is APVMA approved.
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 SDMT is already being utilised by a number of producers, aerial applicators and ground spray contractors across NSW,” Dr Rainbow said.
“The tool simplifies the current, complex chemical labels in providing a practical, easy to use approach for users, in legally using drift reduction technologies which reduce spray buffer zones.
“The pilot permit is delivering 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 GPA will be capturing individual user feedback and experience which is vital to the project’s success and he urged more NSW growers to get involved, to help drive real improvements for their industry.
“Participation requires some additional reporting processes, but this will also make a valuable contribution towards the development of better spray drift policy in Australia,” he said.
“This contribution is all part of an innovative GPA project that aims to improve productivity for growers. 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.”
As part of GPA’s representative roles and responsibilities for grain producers, the national group also manages such industry permits, issued under the APVMA’s emergency and minor use program. These permits support the grains industry’s ability to manage pests, weeds and crop disease better, and support productivity gains for farmers in grain growing regions throughout Australia.
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: