Germination of summer weeds in many agricultural areas as a result of rain in early December has prompted a reminder, from PIRSA, of the risk of spray drift and its wide reaching impact which 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.
Herbicide users are reminded to be vigilant and follow best practice procedures and not cut corners. The recently updated Code of Practice – Summer Weed Control provides an excellent reference on the standards expected from spray operators.
Spraying during unsuitable weather conditions is currently 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.
Producers using Group I herbicides in South Australia must implement the new regulations and ensure that anyone operating the spay equipment has been trained in a Prescribed Chemical Users’ (PCU) course and is keeping accurate and complete records.
Also be aware of the continued ban on the use of high volatile ester 2-4, D (commonly retailed with Ester 800 as part of the brand name) from 1 September to 30 April, with a total ban on its use after 31 August 2014. Biosecurity SA investigates chemical trespass reports and conducts audits of producers.
For more information on new Group I Herbicide regulations, Code of Practice – Summer Weed Control and PCU courses go to the PIRSA website www.pir.sa.gov.au/biosecuritysa/ruralchem
To report chemical trespass contact Rural Chemical Operations 1300 799 684 or email: PIRSA.RuralChemicals@sa.gov.au