SPRAY DRIFT CONCERN: Farmers urged to take action against spray drift.
SPRAY DRIFT CONCERN: Farmers urged to take action against spray drift. Jessica Dorey

Farmers urged to prevent spray drift

FARMERS across Central Queensland are being urged to take action to prevent off-target spray drift and ensure cotton crops are not adversely affected.

The call comes after many cotton growers took advantage of the protracted planting window lengthening the cotton season.

However, this also lengthens the crops' risk to off-target spray drift from including Group I herbicides such as 2,4-D.

Cotton Australia regional manager Renee Anderson said ex-cyclone Debbie had further delayed this season's cotton harvest for some growers and recognised the rainfall had also increased weed pressure for all farmers in the area.

"The recent storm activity has meant growers sticking to the more established cotton planting window (spring plant and summer harvest) will be picking later than expected,” she said.

"It has been too wet to get all of the early planted crop off. Approximately half of this early planted area has been harvested, some is ready to harvest now, the rest will be harvested between May and July, which is later than previous seasons.

"The growers that planted in December will be picking in winter, too, and their crops are still at a sensitive growth stage and may be impacted heavily by off-target spray drift from Group I herbicides.”

Ms Anderson said cotton growers understood farmers needed to undertake crop protection activities after large amounts of rain.

"It is critical for all spray applicators, regardless of what crop they are growing and what chemistry they are applying, to follow best practice and avoid spray drift on cotton - regardless of what stage the cotton is at - and other sensitive crops in the area,” she said.

"Growers are encouraged to contact me at reneea@cotton.org.au for more information about best spray practice or assistance locating nearby cotton crops if they are unsure.”

Find out more

-Cotton Australia: www.cottonaustralia.com.au

-CropLife Australia: www.croplife.org.au

-Grains Research and Development Corporation: www.grdc.com.au

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