Alert – Spray Drift Warning

Rural Chemical Operations E-Update

Recent rainfall earlier in December is expected to trigger the germination of summer weeds in many agricultural areas resulting in producers needing to apply herbicides. We ask that users are especially careful and avoid causing unintended spray drift  that may lead to damage and potential contamination of produce.

This is a timely reminder to all producers and contractors that the risk of spray drift and its impact is widespread and not isolated to only immediate neighbouring paddocks. Impacts can include:

  • Human health (safety of workers, neighbours and the general public)
  • Product integrity (South Australia’s premium food and wine and clean green reputation)
  • The environment (native vegetation and waterways)
  • The availability of chemicals for future use; and
  • Friction between neighbours and the communities, who live and work together.

These impacts are both economic and social.  Users of herbicides during summer are reminded to be especially vigilant; always follow best practice procedures and, please, don’t cut corners.

The recently updated Code of Practice – Summer Weed Control provides an excellent reference on the standards expected from spray operators.

Spraying during unsuitable weather conditions is currently the biggest single cause of spray drift. Interpreting weather conditions and understanding the presence or possible development of a surface temperature inversion are critical factors in reducing spray drift during summer months.

Producers using Group I herbicides in South Australia should now be implementing the new regulations and ensuring that the chemical users (the person operating the spray equipment) are trained in a Prescribed Chemical Users’ (PCU) course and they are keeping accurate and complete records.

Also be aware of the continued ban on the use of high volatile ester 2-4, D (commonly retailed with Ester 800 as part of the brand name) from 1 September to 30 April, with a total ban on its use after 31 August 2014. 

Biosecurity SA investigates chemical trespass reports and conducts audits of producers. For more information on new Group I Herbicide regulations, Code of Practice – Summer Weed Control and PCU courses go to the PIRSA website 

To report chemical trespass contact Rural Chemical Operations 1300 799 684 or email:


*Only 3 days left to enter our Group I Herbicide Awarness survey and go into the draw to WIN a Kertral 3500 Delta T wind meter valued at $413.60.  Closes 20th December. *

Enter Group I Herbicide Awareness Survey