Drones okayed to spray crops
QUEENSLAND farmers can now use drones to spray crops after the State Government amended legislation to embrace the latest technology.
Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said the changes would give Queensland producers access to the most innovative aerial spraying technology available.
“The (State) Government is keen to give our producers all the advantages made available by advances in technology,” Minister Byrne said.
“The improvements to the legislation provide Queensland producers with cost-effective options for crop protection.
“This technology will be especially useful for chemical application in areas with limited access or difficult terrain.
“This includes cropping situations as well as spraying weeds or pests where conventional ground-based technology or aerial application is unsuitable for the situation.”
Mr Byrne said spraying from a drone represented a safe and effective option.
“I believe it is important to harness new and emerging technologies where possible and make them available to our producers, to provide new and improved ways to operate,” he said.
The minister said it was important to put safeguards in place to ensure drones are used safely and responsibly.
“Both producers and contractors using this technology will need to be aware of their legal obligations, including the need to comply with all label instructions when applying agricultural chemical products and ensuring they have the required licences.
“The legislation requires that (drone) spraying operations are only performed by pilots who are authorised by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and hold qualifications that demonstrate a suitable level of chemical application competency.”
For more information on legislation for chemical use in agriculture, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au.
PIC OF THE CROP: The Ag Eagle is a specialised agricultural drone for crop surveying.