Grains Research and Development

Date: 01.08.2004

Awareness campaign to tackle spray drift wastage

The GRDC northern panel has initiated a new awareness campaign to tackle the problem of spray drift and chemical wastage.

The campaign follows research by the Centre for Pesticide Application and Safety (CPAS) at the University of Queensland, Gatton Campus, which looked at targeted spray adjuvants, nozzle systems, spray droplet size, shielded sprayers, general application technology in the cotton and grains industries, and spray drift itself.

Northern panel chairman Ian Buss says spray drift has been an ongoing problem for the grains and cotton industries, although more serious in some years than in others:

“There was the problem of organo-phosphate sprays drifting onto sorghum a few years ago, causing marketing problems for the beef industry, while the 2003-04 season has seen widespread damage from hormone herbicides, particularly 2 4-D, that drifted onto sensitive crops in a number of industries. “There have also been problems with glyphosate and Sprayseed® over the years.”

Mr Buss says the reasons for spray drift involve a range of factors, including poor information about herbicide use, poor application, faulty or inappropriate spray technology and spraying in the wrong weather conditions.

A steering committee has been formed, comprising GRDC Product and Service Delivery program coordinator, Stuart Kearns, CPAS director Nicholas Woods, Peter Cone from Cotton Australia, specialist consultants Graham Betts and John Rochecouste, Conservation Farmers director Michael Burgis, and Cotton Research and Development Corporation senior research program manager, Bruce Pyke.

For more information:
Ian Buss, 07 4984 6141 or 0419 707 670
Graham Betts, 0427 622 214, askgb@bigpond.com

GRDC Program 6

Region North