Course offers on-farm spray gear help
GroundCover™ Issue: 133 March - April 2018 | Author: Toni Somes
A hands-on training program that includes an on-farm visit to fine-tune individual growers’ spray equipment is underway to assist growers in New South Wales to manage chemical application processes and reduce spray-drift risk.
The Advanced Chemical Spray Application Training course is being offered by Tocal College through the AgSkilled program, a training initiative funded by the NSW Government with the GRDC and Cotton Australia.
The AgSkilled initiative has allocated $14.7 million over three years to increase staff skill levels and help attract new people to the grains and cotton industries.
Dr Ken Young, GRDC senior manager crop protection, says grain growers are increasingly aware of the need to ensure on-farm spray equipment is set up and operated to suit environmental conditions to reduce spray-drift risk.
“Herbicides and pesticides account for up to 30 per cent of the variable input costs of grain production, so growers are committed to ensuring spray operations are effective and that drift is minimised to save money and time,” Dr Young says.
“So programs such as the Advanced Chemical Spray Application Training course provide growers with an opportunity to hear the current best-practice guidelines for spray-application success.
“Then having a specialist in spray application come to your farm, as part of the course, and show you exactly how to set up your own equipment for various environmental conditions, and develop spray-drift management plans customised to your operation is something I believe growers will find invaluable.”
AgSkilled project coordinator Claudia Vicary says spray specialist Craig Day from Spray Safe and Save will be running the training workshops and making the on-farm visits.
“These Advanced Spray Application courses will be held across NSW and consist of a one-day workshop and a workplace visit later that week,” Ms Vicary says.
Mr Day says the training workshop will include: weather; drift reduction; how to recognise and avoid inversions; new technology; record-keeping; practical strategies for mixing and applying chemicals; and practical demonstrations of nozzles and water rates.
“By visiting growers on-farm we are also giving them an opportunity to clarify any issues from the workshop and fine-tune their spraying operations,” Mr Day says.
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