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NSW growers urged to register now in a new program to improve spray drift management

New South Wales grain growers are encouraged to register to be involved in a new on-farm pilot permit program to help improve spray drift management practices by determining dynamic spray buffers.

Central to this program is a permit, which will enable growers to trial a new Spray Drift Management Tool (SDMT) to calculate reduced spray drift buffer zones, based on the rate of application, growers’ spray equipment and the environmental conditions at the time. 

The aim is to provide growers with increased flexibility when applying crop protection products.

This pilot is the result of more than 10 years of collaborative work between various industry bodies, including the National Working Party for Pesticide Applications (NWPPA), Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Grain Producers Australia (GPA) the Agricultural Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) and research institutes.

Product labels currently detail mandatory downwind no-spray zones, commonly referred to as ‘spray drift buffer zones’, which restricts when and how growers’ apply products. Buffer zones refer to the downwind distance from the point of application to sensitive areas, such as vegetation and natural aquatic areas.

GRDC Chemical Regulations Manager Gordon Cumming said most products have information about spray drift buffer zones as part of their conditions of use. 

“These buffers are based on worse case scenarios of maximum label rate and wind speed, which limit grower or spray contractors’ flexibility when applying products,” Mr Cumming said.

“What this new SDMT does is enables growers and spray contractors to recalculate spray drift buffers based on the conditions at the time ie, wind speed, the product and its rate of application, and the spray equipment they are using including spray quality.”

To enable this pilot program, the APVMA recently issued a pilot permit (PER91156) to GPAwhich allows the use of specific crop protection products when working with the SDMT. The permit is in effect until July 31, 2022.

The SDMT is available to NSW growers and spray contractors.

Register for the new spray drift program >

For more information, read the GPA media release: NSW growers urged to use pilot permit to improve spray drift.


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