15 December 2023

Clare Valley grape growers are calling on farmers in the Mid North to take special care when spraying summer weeds as grape vines are highly susceptible to herbicide damage at this time.

Clare Valley Wine & Grape Association (CVWGA) executive officer Anna Baum says many farmers are unaware that off-target spray has the potential to drift up to 100 kms in temperature inversion conditions.

Ms Baum says the message is clear that all primary producers, including grape growers, grain producers, spray contractors and other landholders must not spray in hazardous inversions.

She says understanding which inversions are hazardous is new for this region and differentiating non-hazardous inversions gives producers a greater window to get their spray out.

“Being able to monitor hazardous inversions in real time by subscribing to the COtL Mesonet is an invaluable tool for all primary producers in our region.”

The CVWGA also welcomes the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (PIRSA) proposed crack down on producers who break the rules this season.

“All primary producers expect PIRSA to take the strongest possible action against people who do not follow the mandatory label directions,” she said.

“A prosecution of someone breaking the law would be a wakeup call to everyone.”

“All primary producers have a responsibility to keep their sprays in their paddock and in doing so protect the environment and human health.”

“Farmers may not like the fact that grape growers keep drawing public attention to the risks of off-target spray drift, but we are simply the canary in the coal mine. Spray drift has far-reaching consequences for the whole community.”

Media contact: Anna Baum | 0417 817 776 | anna@clarevalleywine.com.au

Media releases were also distributed today from GPSA and PIRSA.

Photo: PIRSA