Research program

Tractor on right of fieldAbout the research program

The current regulatory system is not always able to effectively recognise or reward the use of the best spray equipment, such as drift reducing technologies (DRTs) or best spray application practices.

In fact, the current system can penalise those who have invested in the best technologies and/or best practice by requiring that they use the same default buffer zones as those who have made no investment in these areas.

It is the view of the NWPPA Executive Committee that the effective management of spray drift requires the support of a regulatory science based framework that encourages the use of the latest and best technologies and practices. The more that farmers and applicators are encouraged to take up the latest technologies and practices, the better it is for the industry and the wider environment.

With this in mind, in 2011-12 and 2012-13, the Executive Committee held constructive dialogue with numerous key stakeholders, conducted national meetings and commissioned an independent technical report from Plant Health Australia (PHA) to provide the basis for the on-going work plan.

To implement the work plan, the NWPPA has endorsed a significant number of coordinated research and consultancy initiatives designed to review the current system and facilitate the potential development of a spray risk assessment system that meets regulatory needs and allows for the recognition DRTs and spray application best practice.

The program currently comprises some 11 coordinated projects which can be divided into three groups:

  1. The identification and characterisation of DRTs capable of being adopted in the grains, horticulture and viticulture industries using both ground and aerial application.
  2. The development of technical quantitative assessment methods that enable growers and applicators to readily identify and adopt DRTs and also enable these technologies to be recognised and characterised by the regulatory system.
  3. Initiatives to facilitate engagement between national and international regulators, pesticide applicators, educators and other supply chain stakeholders.

National Working Party on Pesticide Applications Endorsed projects

  1. Assessment of drift reducing technologies (DRTs)
  2. Surveys of current practices
  3. International comparisons
  4. Education and training
  5. Management of surface temperature inversions
  6. DRTs for aerial applications
  7. Improving coverage in horticulture and viticulture