A WEE Waa cotton farmer has warned fellow growers and other farmers to be vigilant against the threat of off-target spray drift, after his cotton crop was recently damaged.
Todd Farrer said nearly all of his 230-hectare cotton crop had been damaged by off-target spraying, thought to be Phenoxy herbicide.
“The industry communicates every year with cotton growers and other farmers about the dangers of off-target spray drift, but unfortunately these incidences still occur and this year it happened on my farm,” Mr Farrer said.
“While the weather plays a significant part in increasing the risks of spray drift, it is the duty of every farmer and spray contractor to understand the weather and establish the best times to spray and the right techniques to use to avoid damaging their own land or their neighbours’ crop.
“All farmers should understand the risks and, out of respect for their neighbours and their livelihood from the land, do everything they can to prevent off-target spray drift.”
Cotton Australia general manager Michael Murray said the rain in recent weeks meant there had been an increase in the reports of damage to cotton crops from spray drift.
“Cotton Australia is working to assist those growers whose crops have been severely impacted by off-target spray drift,” Mr Murray said.
“It is unfortunate that these events must serve as a timely reminder to the potential dangers of spraying, and the responsibilities of all farmers to look after their neighbours during the season.”
Mr Murray said all farmers who sprayed fields must be vigilant against the effects of drift, particularly when using Phenoxy herbicides.
“Cotton farmers understand that weed control is important, but so is respecting your neighbours and their ability to earn an income from the land,” Mr Murray said.
“The correct directions for use of Phenoxy herbicide are clearly labelled on the products, and it is a legal requirement to follow them.
“We ask all farmers, no matter what crop they are growing, to be mindful of weather conditions, talk to their neighbours and prepare properly for spraying.”
Mr Murray said farmers could use the CottonMap service to alert their neighbours and spray contractors about the location of their cotton fields.
For more information visit cottonmap.com.au