Think and plan before you spray phenoxy herbicides | My Machinery
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Think and plan before you spray phenoxy herbicides

Grapevine growers and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) are alerting farmers using phenoxy herbicides, particularly the 2,4-D and MCPA agricultural chemical products, to be vigilant in managing the risk of spray drift. DPI Chemical Standards Officer Neil Harrison said grapevines and other broadleaf crops are highly vulnerable to spray drift from phenoxy herbicides. “Even small amounts of off target spray drift have potential to impact on susceptible crops some distance from the original target area, if herbicides are not applied under suitable conditions. “To put this into perspective, as little as 0.73 grams per hectare of the broadleaf herbicide 2,4-D can have a damaging affect on grape vines,” he said. Mr Harrison said to assess suitable spray conditions producers need to monitor and consider the weather, use buffer zones if necessary, identify nearby susceptible crops and sensitive areas and ensure spray equipment is in good working order. “Talk to your neighbours about their enterprise and plans as part of your own preparation to spray. “Monitor the weather and consider the presence of surface temperature inversion layers, which occur most commonly in the morning or during the night. “Spray droplets or vapours can be trapped by the inversion layer and carried significant distances from the target area,” he said. Mr Harrison said it’s recommended to spray with winds of between three km/hr and 20 km/hr blowing away from sensitive areas, and at right angles to the direction of travel. “The turbulence created by the wind as it passes over the ground surface effectively combs spray droplets down, helping them reach the target. The opposite occurs if there is no air movement.” Droplet size is a major consideration when using all agricultural chemicals. Like 2,4-D, many chemical products have similar restrictions, therefore it’s essential to read and follow label directions strictly. It is an offence under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992 to cause damage to plants or contamination to agricultural produce from spray drift, which can incur heavy penalties of over $20,000

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