Spray drift research goes online

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A new website outlining the latest research and assessment of spray drift reducing technologies is now online for public perusal.

Spray drift research goes online
Farmers interested in the latest developments in spray drift research and policies are urged to visit the NWPPA's newly launched website.

The site, managed by the National Working Party on Pesticide Applications (NWPPA) outlines the work of the organisation and the outcomes of the research program that is at the heart of the party’s vision.

NWPPA independent chair Gavan Cattanach says the party brings a national, coordinated and technical approach to spray drift issues.

"The executive committee includes representatives from grower groups, spray manufacturers, spray applicators and research and development corporations, across viticulture, horticulture and broad acre agriculture.

"It guides the work of the NWPPA."

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On March 1 2010, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) introduced regulations that require new pesticides to be assessed for the potential risk of spray drift.

As a result of the policy changes, new pesticide product labels now contain statements that describe mandatory no-spray zones in the downwind direction at the time of spray application.

The NWPPA was established to consider the potential outcomes of policy changes and spray drift reviews being undertaken by the APVMA.

"Our vision is that the regulatory system is science-based and recognises the use of drift reduction technologies," Cattanach says.

"We need better education and practice to enable the use of smaller, practical buffer zones."

Subsequently the party has developed a program of research to help fulfil its vision.

The program includes surveys of current practices; assessment of drift-reducing technologies (DRTs); education and training; management of surface temperature inversions; DRTs for aerial applications; and improving spray coverage in horticultural and viticultural applications of pesticides.

Details on all the projects can be found on the new NWPPA website.

Updates about executive committee meetings and presentations from annual meetings that report on the progress of the research programs will also be available on the website.

Cattanach encourages farmers, applicators and others interested in spray drift issues to visit the website.

"The site will be particularly useful during the public consultation phase of the APVMA’s Spray Drift Policy Review, which will take place in the first half of 2015."

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