FARMERS across the rain-soaked regions of south-eastern Australia are reminded of the importance of correctly using agricultural chemicals during wetter periods to minimise the risk of unwanted outcomes.
Agriculture Victoria statewide specialist for chemicals, Steven Field, said the recent wet conditions might result in farmers feeling significant pressure to use chemicals for a range of reasons.
“Farmers may be aware that fungicides could be in short supply in some areas and they may look to use a chemical on a crop that it is not registered for,” he said.
“That is why we are encouraging farmers to ensure they take into account their legal obligations and don’t take short cuts.
“Inappropriate chemical use may result in a range of adverse outcomes such as unacceptable residues, increased resistance, or spray drift.”
Mr Field said many farmers might be considering whether to apply a fungicide to their crop, if they hadn’t done so already.
Some important points farmers must be aware of are to:
Only use Schedule 7 Dangerous Poisons in strict accordance with the label and not to use them unless they hold an Agricultural Chemical User Permit.
Not use other agricultural chemicals (e.g. Schedule 5 or 6 chemicals) at a rate greater than the maximum label rate, more frequently than the label states, or in contravention of any prohibitive (‘DO NOT’) statements.
Not spray any chemical in inappropriate conditions, such as in strong winds, inversion conditions, where there is a high risk of causing spray drift onto neighbouring crops, pasture, or other sensitive areas such as houses and waterways.
Peak industry bodies like the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Pulse Australia and others have published guidance material for farmers which compliments farmer’s responsibilities to ensure they read and understand the individual product label prior to use.
For more information on agricultural chemical use in Victoria please contact the Agriculture Victoria Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or visit the website at: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/farm-management/chemical-use
Source: Agriculture Victoria