Rainfall accelerates summer spraying program

Grain Producers SA (GPSA) and the Wine Grape Council of SA (WGCSA) are putting wrongdoers on notice as recent rainfall accelerates summer spraying across South Australia.

All primary producers, including grain producers, grape growers, spray contractors and other landholders are being reminded not to spray in hazardous inversions.

GPSA Chief Executive Officer Brad Perry said unpredictable summer rain has prompted weed growth and fast-tracked the summer spraying program.

“Particularly for grain producers, the summer spraying program really ramped up following the most recent rainfall events,” he said.

“The majority of farmers do the right thing but it’s those who continue to deliberately flout the law that are impacting on people’s livelihoods and communities.

“GPSA is reminding farmers that awareness around spray drift is heightened like never before and those not doing the right thing must understand the consequences with spraying when the conditions aren’t right.

“We thank PIRSA for accepting our calls to implement random spray record audits, but we also need more surveillance on the ground to identify and act on the practices of any wrongdoers.”

WGCSA Chief Executive Officer Lisa Bennier said hazardous inversions can be monitored in real time through the Mesonet.

“Technology has made it simpler for farmers to monitor hazardous inversions,” she said.

“If you’re a primary producer applying chemicals, you should be following the label and if you are not, there’s really no excuse and you should be prosecuted.

“All primary producers have a responsibility to keep their sprays in their paddock and in doing so protect the environment and human health.

“It’s not just fellow farmers that are impacted by spray drift, there are widespread consequences, including for communities.”