Neg­a­tive im­pact of spray

Cau­tioned over spray­ing

Central Queensland News - - NEWS - Louise Shan­non

CEN­TRAL High­lands farmers are be­ing urged to take heed of spray­ing ad­vice as the cot­ton sea­son ad­vances in a bid to pro­tect the best in­ter­ests of their own crops as well as crops on neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties.

Cot­ton Aus­tralia, the peak rep­re­sen­ta­tive body for Aus­tralia’s cot­ton grow­ing in­dus­try, has is­sued the no­tice to try and re­duce spray drift and its neg­a­tive ef­fects in the area.

Cot­ton Aus­tralia’s pol­icy of­fi­cer, re­search di­rec­tion and ste­ward­ship, Sally Ceeney, said five in­ci­dents of off-tar­get spray drifts had been re­ported since the sea­son be­gan in July.

“It’s hard to say how much dam­age it would have on other crops,” she said. But she ad­vised that while a crop can “po­ten­tially” grow out of any dam­age, it would “cer­tainly set the crop back”.

Ms Ceeney said it was vi­tal pro­duc­ers in the re­gion kept their spray­ing knowl­edge up to date.

Cen­tral Queens­land grower War­rick Stent-Smith said ad­vice for best prac­tice spray­ing had changed over the past 20 years.

There’s still a lot of other fac­tors, but once the sun’s up is usu­ally pretty stan­dard. Then you’ve got to watch the wind.

— War­rick Stent-Smith

“You need to spray with ap­pro­pri­ate noz­zles and in the right con­di­tions. It’s also best to spray in day­light hours now.”

He said for­mer ad­vice had rec­om­mended spray­ing in the early morn­ings.

“There’s still a lot of other fac­tors, but once the sun’s up is usu­ally pretty stan­dard. Then you’ve got to watch the wind.”

Mr Stent-Smith, who man­ages a fam­ily-owned mixed crop­ping and live­stock en­ter­prise north of Emer­ald, said it was im­por­tant to check Delta T lev­els which in­cluded tem­per­a­ture, hu­mid­ity and wind speed.

He said des­ig­nated spray days were a good idea.

In a fur­ther ef­fort to re­duce spray drift in­ci­dents this sea­son, the Cen­tral High­lands has been cho­sen by Cot­ton Aus­tralia as the trial site for a new satel­lite map­ping plat­form, Sat­acrop.

The plat­form is de­signed to map dif­fer­ent crops and ac­cu­rately in­form grow­ers around where spray ac­tiv­i­ties have taken place.

Ms Ceeney said the in­for­ma­tion could help grow­ers make de­ci­sions about their spray­ing plans and re­duce drift in­ci­dents.


SPRAY CAU­TION: Emer­ald cot­ton grower, War­rick Stent-Smith.

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