2015 December: Denman NSW vineyards spraydrift. Pesticide: 2,4-D

Hunter vignerons call for controls on pesticide sprays

Vignerons in the Denman area suspect spray drift from the noxious herbicide 24D may be affecting local grape yields.

The substance, which is mainly used to control broad-leaf weeds in grain and grass crops, can travel up to 70 kilometres in the air after application.

Jeff Oldman from Norlana Vineyard said the herbicide causes grape leaves to become distorted.

“I’ve spoken to a number of people in the district and also Department of Primary Industries, and they all seem to be pretty convinced that it is 24D,” he said.

“The growing tips of the canes, for about 30 to 40 centimetres from the tip, now are distorted.”

Grape growers are calling on the Department of Agriculture to place restrictions on the application of 24D.

Mr Oldman said the herbicide is particularly volatile for grape crops.

“It seems to affect mainly the growing tips but, of course, when all the canes are growing, if they’re affected it can affect the vine quite significantly,” he said.

“The vines can grow out of it, provided they haven’t been too seriously affected, and I’m hoping that mine will be alright.”