International comparisons

Blue machineIn 2012, the NWPPA commissioned an independent study to evaluate current international responses (regulation and research) to the management of pesticide spray drift.

Based upon research and consultation with researchers and regulators both in Australia and overseas, the review proposed a range of options for enhancing Australia’s management of pesticide spray drift.

The report, provided by PHA, concluded that an optimum regulatory system should ideally be able to:

  • Enable applicators and growers to implement best management practices.
  • Facilitate good decision making by applicators and growers that optimises pesticide application and minimises the potential for off-target pesticide spray movement.
  • Take into account actual environmental conditions at the time of application.
  • Provide regulators the opportunity to facilitate the adoption of best application technology.
  • Draw upon current technology and provide appropriate incentives for development and implementation of improved application technology.
  • Enhance the regulatory system with a timely and transparent science based mechanism for assessing and mitigating the potential for downwind spray drift.
  • Support a national regulatory framework that provides confidence to regulators and industries that effective drift mitigation systems are adopted.
  • Benefit from appropriate recognition of international research data and regulatory processes.

Recognising the inherent limitations of some of the spray drift assessment models currently available to industry and regulators, the review suggested that assessment of spray drift could be improved by being decoupled from a heavy reliance on AgDrift® ground curves, particularly for ground application of pesticides.

To support a science based review of technical methods that could be considered for determining a spray drift risk assessment effectiveness of DRTs the NWPPA has established a Technical Working Group of scientists involved in research and regulation to examine and test alternative approaches for both ground and aerial application.