Producers are being reminded to be vigilant on the use of agricultural chemicals and the potential impact spraying can have on neighboring properties.
When used correctly agricultural and veterinary chemicals maximise the quality and yield of crops and livestock. However when used incorrectly they can damage crops, harm the environment and put human health at risk. Certain weather conditions can result in spray drift which can cause damage over many kilometres.
This follows a Naracoorte farmer recently found to be guilty of three charges in relation to the spay drift of herbicides and fined $15,000.
The farmer was prosecuted for using non-compliant equipment, spraying in unsuitable weather conditions and disposing of containers incorrectly. The case came to light after a comprehensive investigation into a spray drift damage report.
It is the first successful prosecution involving spray drift in South Australia.
Quotes attributable to Manager Rural Chemical Operations, Michael McManus
It is vitally important that before you commence any spraying to check your weather conditions, the regulatory requirements of the chemical you want to use, your equipment and spray quality. Please also ensure that your monitoring and record keeping is up to date.
Knowing the issues that spray drift can create in rural areas educating producers and industry on the responsible use of chemicals remains an important priority for us.
While the nature of spray drift makes identifying offenders difficult, BiosecuritySA will continue to pursue anyone who we believe has either deliberately or negligently cause damage to others by not doing the right thing.
For further information on the safe use, storage and disposal of agricultural and veterinary chemicals visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/rural_chemicals/storing_and_disposal_of_chemicals