A NUMBER of reports of chemical damage to grape vines caused by spray drift are under investigation by PIRSA Biosecurity SA in the Clare Valley and Riverland regions.
Off-target damage to grapevines has been an ongoing issue in viticulture and horticulture areas adjacent to broad acre cropping across Australia, with the move away from cultivation and towards herbicides for summer weed control.
Rural Chemicals manager Michael McManus said PIRSA relied on the farming community to use chemicals as per the mandatory label requirements.
“Correct use of agricultural chemicals maximizes the cost effective use of chemicals and the quality and yield of crops,” he said.
“But when used incorrectly, they can impact on your neighbors, local communities and trade.”
In April last year, Biosecurity SA successfully prosecuted a Naracoorte farmer who was found guilty of three charges in relation to spray drift, and was fined $15,000.
While investigations can be time consuming, and spray drift origins difficult to trace, Biosecurity SA pursue all reports of anyone who has either deliberately or negligently caused damage to others by not following regulatory requirements.
Anyone who suspects spray drift damage is encouraged to call the Chemical Trespass Hotline on 1300 779 684.