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:
- You have the correct licence and/or permit
- Comply with notification requirements
- Make chemical use records.
Image: Agriculture Victoria