GPSA welcomes Mid North weather station funding
Feb 19, 2018
Grain Producers SA welcomes last week’s announcement from the State Government that it will fund a pilot network of state-of-the-art automatic weather stations at 40 locations across the Mid North.
The network, announced by Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock, will give growers access to vital weather data needed to help them minimise the risk of spray drift.
GPSA Chair Wade Dabinett says the project would not have been possible without the hard work of Mid North-based consultants Peter Cousins and Mick Faulkner.
“Both Peter and Mick have been calling for a network of weather stations across the Mid North to help growers manage spray drift and minimise the risk to wine grapes for a number of years,” he says.
“GPSA congratulates Peter and Mick for their success on a project they have worked tirelessly on for many years.”
GPSA is one of a number of funders to the project, contributing $20,000, as have a number of other bodies, which will be managed by Ag Excellence Alliance.
Left unaddressed, the potential loss in production value from spray drift in the Mid North is estimated to be about $178 million per year.
“It was only on Wednesday last week that Biosecurity SA revealed it is investigating reports of spray drift damage to grape vines in the Mid North and Riverland,” Mr Dabinett says.
“This highlights the need to address issues surrounding spray drift, particularly in areas where broadacre cropping, viticulture and horticulture co-exist.
“These weather stations will go a long way to providing grain growers with the right information they need to make a judgment on whether it is safe to spray herbicides or not without causing off-target damage.”
The first weather stations are due to be installed in the middle of this year with the whole network scheduled to be in place by September 2019.
For interviews: Wade Dabinett, 0408 686 092
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