GPSA undertakes multi-pronged projects on best practice spray application

GPSA undertakes multi-pronged projects on best practice spray application

Photo courtesy of GPSA

In a bid to address ongoing challenges around agrichemical spray application, Grain Producers SA (GPSA) has appointed a consultant to review options to strengthen best practice in the industry.

Experienced South Australian business, Hydra Consulting, has been appointed to lead the multi- pronged project on behalf of GPSA.

In addition, GPSA has commissioned a team of experienced researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA) to undertake a project on the attitudes and behaviours of farmers to mitigate spray drift.

GPSA Chief Executive Officer Brad Perry said the two projects are designed to think outside the square when it comes to minimising off-target damage.

“The consultant will be looking at benchmarking agrichemical spray application across Australia and the world to provide options for things that we, as the grain industry in South Australia, can do better when it comes to spraying,” he said.

“We know most growers spray agricultural chemicals under the appropriate weather conditions, but we are constantly battling with how we reach those few who do not.

“This season we’ve seen a perfect storm where weather and timing has culminated in challenges around applying spray during the appropriate windows, which is why GPSA developed and ran the awareness campaign ‘Don’t Spray your Dollars Away’ across various media platforms from December to February this year.

“These new projects, along with our recent media campaign and Spray Forum in Freeling, showcase how determined we are to tackle this incredibly important issue."

Agricultural chemicals protect crops from pests and disease, but their incorrect use can have adverse effects on health and the environment. A key component in helping to change the actions of those who do not adhere to regulations for spraying in the grain industry is through behavioural change.

“The UniSA team of researchers are reviewing more than 650 pieces of historic literature to provide GPSA with an understanding of effective strategies for inducing changes in behaviour and attitudes to minimise off-target spray drift,” Mr Perry said.

“This important work will also provide a rigorous research evidence base to support current and future policies on spray drift management.”