Cane­grow­ers back decision

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

CANE­GROW­ERS have backed the decision of the chem­i­cal reg­u­la­tor to give it­self more time to com­plete a ro­bust sci­en­tific re­view of the ev­i­dence around use of the weed man­age­ment chem­i­cal di­uron.

Aus­tralian Pes­ti­cides and Ve­teri­nary Medicines Au­thor­ity (APVMA) is an Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment au­thor­ity es­tab­lished in 1993 to cen­tralise the reg­is­tra­tion of all agri­cul­tural and ve­teri­nary chem­i­cal prod­ucts in Australia.

Un­til the re­port is com­pleted, grow­ers have been given the green light to con­tinue us­ing di­uron at the 1.8 kg/hectare rate from April 1 un­til the final decision is handed down - which is ex­pected to be no later than Novem­ber 30.

Moss­man Cane­grow­ers’ chair­man Drew Wat­son said a tem­po­rary ban was placed on the use of di­uron from Novem­ber un­til last month, or for the wet sea­son.

“At the time we ar­gued strongly against this be­cause if we had a late wet sea­son, such as we did this year, then we could be spray­ing too late,” Mr Wat­son said.

“The ma­jor is­sue is that once we cul­ti­vate our pad­docks we have to wait un­til they set­tle or for those farm­ers who have ac­cess to ir­ri­ga­tion they can set­tle their pad­docks by ir­ri­gat­ing, while the rest of us have to wait un­til it rains.

“So this is why it is best left up to the farm­ers as to when to spray be­cause they know best and they’re not want­ing to do any­thing wrong or il­le­gal be­cause it’s sim­ply not in their in­ter­est and they are care­ful to care for their land - we have too, it’s our liveli­hood.”

Cane­grow­ers has not seen any cred­i­ble ev­i­dence to sug­gest di­uron lev­els at the rate presently used by grow­ers is not safe, and will con­tinue to rally for its use at this rate on the new la­bel us­age when it is re­leased.

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