Farmers need to be wary of spray drift

COLLATERAL DAMAGE: Spray drifting from nearby farms can cause serious damage to broadleaf crops such as these vines. It is an offence under Victorian law to cause damage outside the target area.

FARMERS using herbicides to control weeds this summer are urged to be vigilant in managing the risk of spray drift.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries’ (DEPI) chemical standards officer, Felicity Collins, said vineyards, tomatoes and other broadleaf crops are very susceptible to spray drift damage from herbicides.

“Even a very small amount of herbicide drift can have a serious impact on such susceptible crops,” Ms Collins said.

“The spray operator should check for nearby susceptible crops and put strategies in place to endure spray doesn’t leave the target area.

“Consider and monitor the changing weather conditions, and use nozzles that produce an appropriate droplet size.

“It may be necessary to create a buffer zone where no chemical is applied either around the target area or on the downwind edge.

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