As the spray season gets underway, the AWRI has sent out a timely reminder for growers to consider about some of the key factors that ensure safe and effective spray practices for pest, disease and weed control including:
Chemical selection – Use chemicals that are registered for use on grapevines. The AWRI’s Dog Book has a full list of registered and recommended chemicals. Try to avoid agrochemical resistance by rotating chemicals.
Chemical labels – Agrochemical labels are legal documents that must be observed. The label recommended application rates, recommendations for personal protective equipment and re-entry periods should always be followed.
Record-keeping – It is a label requirement that specific details of all agrochemical applications be kept for a minimum of two years. Australian states and territories also have their own legislation regarding accreditation for applicators, information to be recorded and the length of time for which records must be kept.
Agrochemical application – Effective chemical control is dependent on the correct timing, coverage and application rate. A number of fact sheets on spray application are available on the AWRI website. Points to consider include:
Spray drift – Monitor weather conditions before and during spraying to ensure the conditions are favourable.
Safety – Anybody handling and applying agrochemicals should be adequately trained to perform the task safely.
Disposal – Dispose of used chemical containers and unused chemical responsibly through programs such as drumMuster and ChemClear.