While it is common practice for most horticulturists and farmers producers to spray moisture sucking and problem weeds during the summer months, we all need to be alert to the risk of causing spray drift. As winegrowers well know recent rain have triggered wide-spread germination of summer weeds resulting in producers needing to apply herbicides. Users must be especially careful and avoid causing unintended spray drift that may lead to damage and potential contamination of produce.
This is a timely reminder to all producers and contractors that the risk of spray drift and its impact is widespread and not isolated to immediate neighbouring paddocks.
Impacts can include:
- Human health (safety of workers, neighbours and the general public)
- Product integrity (South Australia’s premium food and wine and clean green reputation)
- The environment (native vegetation and waterways) • The availability of chemicals for future use; and
- Friction between neighbours and the communities, who live and work together.
These impacts are both economic and social. All of us who need to use herbicides during summer are reminded to be especially vigilant; always follow best practice procedures and don’t cut corners or take unnecessary risks. Spraying during unsuitable weather conditions is the biggest single cause of spray drift.
Interpreting weather conditions and understanding the presence or possible development of a surface temperature inversion are critical factors in reducing spray drift during summer months.