2023 January: Lower Namoi (NSW) Spray Drift. 2,4-D?

Cotton Australia & others discuss action on spray drift incidents

Jan 23 2023: https://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/cotton-australia-others-discuss-action-on-spray-drift-incidents-285336-newsdetails.htm

Australia’s top agricultural peak bodies including Cotton Australia, government regulators, and enforcement agencies, are discussing the latest incidents of spray drift which SOS NSW has described as at crisis point. Pesticide spray drift occurs when pesticide dust or droplets move through the air at the time of application or soon after, to unintended areas.

Farmers have reported moderate to severe spray drift incidents on the Darling Downs, St George district, Dirranbandi, Mungindi, Gwydir, Lower Namoi, Walgett, and the Macquarie Valley, according to a press release by Cotton Australia.

Cotton Australia’s general manager Michael Murray said: “Media reports have suggested 2,4-D spray drift is responsible in some locations and while the damage is consistent with phenoxy herbicides, there is currently no available evidence in the form of residue analysis to confirm that.

“That being said, unfortunately the industry has a long history of experience with spray drift, and if experienced farmers and agronomists identify the damages as being caused by 2-4D drift, then that is the most likely cause.”

Murray added that cotton crops had been impacted but so too have other crops and it is unclear in each location exactly what chemicals are responsible.

Cotton Australia reminds all growers and spray operators that they must apply chemicals in accordance with the label conditions which can include factors such as nozzle selections, wind speeds, and inversion conditions, added the release.

Cotton Australia is actively urging the relevant authorities to run compliance activities to ensure adherence to label conditions.

“There is no doubt, this year is the worst year in recent years, most likely reflecting the seasonal conditions which have generally been conducive for weed growth, and the weather induced delays to winter harvest means that in some instances weed control is occurring later than usual,” said Murray.