Don’t be a Drifter Herbicide use workshop

Interested in learning more about herbicide application?

Are you a landholder in the ACT or in the Googong or Upper Murrumbidgee catchments south of the ACT?

Are you working with herbicides as a Park Carer/landcarer in the ACT or in the Googong or Upper Murrumbidgee catchments south of the ACT? If you fall into any of these categories and want to upgrade your chemical application skills, ensure your machinery is working correctly, enable up to date records and gain accreditation or reaccreditation then read on.

Southern ACT Catchment Group is organising a herbicide use training course for the 18/19 February 2012 to be held at Westwood Farm near Kambah. The concept is to deliver an advanced practical/theory session over the two days which will include using UV light to show droplets of water coloured with dye and applied to stubble, leaves or grasses at different rates, nozzles and pressures to show variables of application. Participants must attend both days.

To reinforce the workshop information spray applicators can bring along their own equipment and have their questions answered, guided by an experienced operator. The workshops have a mixture of RELEVANT theory and practice. Assessment is relevant to the participants, for example: preparing a diagram for the area to be sprayed and putting in the relevant buffer zones. Demonstrating how to keep the necessary records in a simple format, ensuring they have the MSD’s they need and only the ones they need.

Chemical user accreditation (AQF3/4) or reaccreditation is available if required.

All course costs will be covered through funding to the catchment group from ActewAGL and the ACT NRM Council.

Craig using a smoke machine to demonstrate spray drift.This is the third of these courses organised by the Southern ACT Catchment Group and run by Craig Day from ‘Spray Safe and Save’. Craig adapts the course content to suit the requirements of the participants. I had the good fortune to attend the first course in May last year along with 16 other participants. ‘I have been using herbicides for over 30 years and have participated in a number of chemical use courses yet I learnt more on this course than I would have thought possible. Craig is an excellent presenter with a truly in-depth knowledge of all aspects of herbicide use and the legislation surrounding it. The practical sessions clearly demonstrate the learning gained from the theory sessions. I firmly believe that all people using herbicides at any level could gain a greater understanding of all aspects of herbicide use by undertaking this course, whether they are seeking accreditation, reaccreditation or simply a better knowledge base to work from regarding drift reduction, nozzle selection, equipment selection and calibration, to name a just few aspects. (Steve Welch)

Comments from other participants in the May course include:

·  Not having an understanding of spraying didn’t restrict relevance of workshop. The course was fantastic. I wouldn't change anything about it.

· The course was very useful and informative. Craig certainly had a detailed knowledge of spray nozzles and spraying techniques and was very effective in passing on this knowledge and practical pointers to participants.

· Craig demonstrated what types of nozzles to use to obtain the optimum droplet size and speed to get best coverage/penetration depending on the weed being sprayed. He also showed participants how to work this out for themselves using tables on nozzle performance.

· Craig also addressed other important issues in relation to chemical use and how to use them safely from a human health and environmental perspective, for example safe handling of chemicals, keeping appropriate records and observing appropriate buffers when spraying.

Bookings are essential and places are limited:

Contact Steve Welch on 6296 6400 or email info@sactcg.org.au

Further information on the course will then be provided.

Whether you’re using a backpack or a 12 metre wide spray rig, the same principles apply to ensure safe efficient and environmentally secure use of herbicides. Check out the videos on spray management at: www.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/farming-management/chemical-use/chemical-use-videos/spray-risk-management