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Spraying responsibly this season

Spray 2

Spring brings with it horticultural spraying and the Regional Council reminds anyone working on production land to spray responsibly this season.

“We know that agrichemical use is essential on farms, orchards, and vineyards, and to manage lifestyle blocks. We simply ask farmers and horticulturalists to use them safely to protect the health of everyone around them and the environment,” says Regional Council Regulation GM Liz Lambert.

Spray that moves away from the target area due to application or weather conditions is called spray drift. This can cause human health problems like asthma and skin rashes, and can pollute waterways.

“Our Regional Resource Management Plan encourages everyone using both organic and conventional agrichemicals to be responsible with how they use them. This includes making sure that whoever does the spraying is qualified, is using a Property Spray Plan, and has put up roadside signs to let people passing know that they’re spraying,” says Ms Lambert.

“Bad spraying practice is as much of an issue for us as outdoor burning during winter. We want to work with farmers and horticulturalists to make sure this season runs smoothly and safely. If people don’t follow the rules it can result in enforcement action and potentially clean-up costs, and we would rather avoid the need for these. If anyone experiences spray drift call our compliance team on the pollution hotline on 0800 108 838.”

For properties where spraying occurs more than twice a year within 50m of the boundary a property spray plan is required. Farmers or horticulturalists who don’t already have a spray plan can head to Spray Plan or Grow Safe to check out the plans which meet the Regional Council’s requirements.

Spray drift check list (organic and conventional)

  • Know that landowners and contractors are both responsible for spraying safely
  • Know the rules, such as taking extra care around boundaries or water
  • Use an experienced operator certified GROWSAFE®
  • Notify people and use signs where required
  • Take care spraying near sensitive areas and buffer zones
  • Watch weather conditions and adapt as needed

For more information about spray drift head to hbrc.govt.nz and search: #spray, or for information about the Regional Resource Management Plan search: #RRMP and look for Chapter 6, rule 10.

6 August 2019

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