COTTON Australia has warned growers of the potential risk to young, vulnerable crops from herbicide and pesticide spray drift around Emerald.
Cotton Australia regional manager Renee Anderson said there had been reported instances near Comet, Foley and Talafa Rds.
"But it can travel for quite a distance," she warned.
"I imagine it's coming from the dry land stuff... we're hoping it doesn't become an issue.
"This is a proactive approach."
Ms Anderson said crop damage caused by spray drift of agricultural herbicide or pesticide was a significant concern for all growers and livestock producers.
"Herbicide spray drift damage this early in the season is certainly on many growers minds, while we haven't had the rainfall to date which encourages weed growth and increased herbicide use, the potential for adverse spray incidents remains," Ms Anderson said.
Ms Anderson said it was vital to communicate with neighbours, and aerial and ground rig spray contractors to initially identify any sensitive crops in the area and then only use equipment which has been well set-up and calibrated to improve spray efficacy as well as minimise the risk of drift.
Cotton Australia, NuFarm and CRDC have collaboratively developed a website, www.cottonmap.com.au where anyone can go to and locate the nearest cotton crop.
"The key point here is to make sure that everyone who farms near you knows that you will be planting cotton this year," Ms Anderson said.
"That means firstly plotting all your cotton fields on CottonMap as well as talking about your cotton with your neighbours, aerial and ground rig spray contractors."
Ms Anderson said CottonMap was a useful conversation starter.
"Farming is a team sport, and working closely with our neighbours has always been a big part of our farming life here in the Central Highlands, which is why it's great to see the level of support for programs like CottonMap."
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