Best practice: avoiding spray drift

21 August 2019

Using agricultural chemicals on farms should not be an automatic response to fixing a problem, however, when chemicals are a necessary decision, care needs to be taken to ensure best practices are implemented to avoid off-target movement.

In a region where many farms are certified and non-certified organic/biodynamic it is important to be aware of neighboring systems and work together to farm responsibly.

If a decision to spray is reached, then setting time aside to adequately plan any spray program is vital to ensure chemicals are used safely and responsibly. A small amount of effort in planning at the start is far more efficient than dealing with issues later and will also help to minimise the risk of off-target chemical movement.

Good spray application management employs several techniques to minimise off-target movement.

  • Spray under desirable weather conditions including appropriate temperatures and no inversions
  • Select the correct droplet size
  • Spray when there is a consistent crosswind
  • Do not spray with the wind direction toward sensitive areas
  • Do not spray when there is excessive wind speed
  • Do not operate with a boom height too high
  • Avoid spraying with volatile products

You must also ensure:

Useful links:
Agriculture Victoria – spraying agricultural chemicals
Agriculture Victoria – resources for managing spray drift

Image: Agriculture Victoria