PIRSA Biosecurity SA is calling for farmers to think before they spray, to avoid off-target damage to highly sensitive plants, including grapevines.

Manager, Rural Chemical Operations at PIRSA Biosecurity SA Michael McManus said actively growing grapevines are highly susceptible to off-target herbicides.

“Earlier this year we saw off-target damage reported in both the Clare Valley and Riverland which have been the subject of investigations by PIRSA. Consideration before planning any spraying operation we believe is a key to avoiding such issues,” he said.

New 2,4-D label instructions which came into effect this October were developed in direct response to spray drift damage, and include droplet size requirements, mandatory no spray zones, suitable weather conditions and application techniques and mandatory record keeping requirements.

“We urge farmers not to spray in inversion conditions, keep their booms no higher than 50cm above the target and to slow down,” Michael said.

PIRSA Biosecurity SA will pursue all reports of anyone who has either deliberately or negligently caused damage to others by not following regulatory requirements. If caught, offences can carry a maximum penalty of $35,000.

Click here to read PIRSA’s recent media release on spray drift.

For information on avoiding spray drift and best practice chemical use, click here.