Spray drift research showcased on new website

December 11, 2014

The National Working Party on Pesticide Applications (NWPPA) has officially launched a website to publicise their work on technologies to reduce spray drift.

Independent Chair Gavan Cattanach said the website outlines the work of the NWPPA and the outcomes of the research program that is at the heart of the working parties’ vision.

“The National Working Party on Pesticide Applications brings a national, coordinated, technical approach to spray drift issues,” said Mr Cattanach.

“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,” said Mr Cattanach.

On 1 March 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 (buffer 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. We need better education and practice to enable the use of smaller, practical buffer zones,” he added.

The working party has developed a program of research to help fulfil their vision.

The research 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.

Updates about Executive Committee meetings and presentations from the annual meetings that report on progress on the research program are available on the site.

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

“The site (nwppa.net.au) 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,” said Mr Cattanach.