Code of Practice for Ground Spraying

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This Code is published by the Agricultural, Silvicultural and Veterinary Chemicals (ASCHEM) Council and applies under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Order 2001. It prescribes responsibilities and minimum standards applying to users of agricultural chemical products when these products are applied by ground-based spraying operations in Tasmania.

Relation to Acts, Regulations and Other Codes

This Code of Practice does not remove or alter any obligation or requirement under any Act or Regulation or alter the need to comply with other Codes of Practice or industry guidelines.

The Tasmanian legislation regulating the use of agricultural chemicals is the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1995 and the regulations under this Act. Other relevant State legislation includes:
  • The Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 and regulations under this Act.
  • The Dangerous Goods Act 1998 and regulations under this Act.
  • The Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 and regulations under this Act.


Code of Practice for Ground Spraying

Section 1 - General

This section applies to any person who uses or handles agricultural chemical products.

1.You must only use registered agricultural chemical products.
2. You must not apply an agricultural chemical product at variance with the label instructions, except under a permit granted by the National Registration Authority or the Registrar of Chemical Products.
3.You must not use the herbicide 2,4-D from 15 September to 15 April without a permit from the Registrar of Chemical Products.
4.You must store agricultural chemical products in their original containers in a dry, well ventilated area that is not easily accessible to children or animals. A source of water suitable for washing should be located near-by.
5. You should always use products that will do the job effectively. Where practicable, you should use those products which are least toxic to people and the environment.

6.
When handling or using a product, you must be equipped with and wear the minimum protective/safety equipment stated on the label of the product.
7. You must not eat, or smoke while handling or using agricultural chemical products.
8.You must maintain spray equipment in good operational order. You must not start maintenance until the equipment has been cleaned.
9.You must not spray onto waterways or waterbodies or water-logged areas unless the product is approved for such use.
10. When spraying, you must not allow an agricultural chemical product to move off target to the extent that it may adversely affect any people, their land, water, plants or stock. Areas of particular concern include schools, water supplies, places where there are beehives, residential areas and public areas.
11. When containers of products used in making up spray tank mixes are emptied, you must triple rinse or power rinse them and add the rinsate to the spray tank for use. You must either return empty containers to the supplier, deliver them to your local Council's drumMUSTER collection site, or otherwise dispose of them in a manner that is acceptable to the Department of Primary Industries and Water (DPIW).
12. On completion of spraying operations, you should rinse out and wash down all spray equipment and associated machinery with water. You must ensure that rinsates and washings are re-used, or disposed of in a manner that is acceptable to the DPIW.

Section 2 - Commercial and Agricultural Operators

This section applies in addition to section 1, to any person who uses or handles agricultural chemical products to provide a commercial service or for agricultural production.

13.If you provide a pest, disease or weed control service for a fee or reward, you must hold a Commercial Operator Licence issued by the Registrar of Chemical Products. A licence is not required if the spraying service offered is incidental to the main business and only a "small amount" of product is used. (See DPIW brochure for explanation of the term "small amount")
14.You must maintain a record of spraying operations. Your records must at least include the date, location and name and rates of any chemical products applied.
15.If you spray in cropping situations in which the produce is intended for consumption by people or stock, your records must include a spray report for each spraying operation which includes the location, date, time, type and area of crop sprayed, amount and name of chemical applied, application rates and equipment used. You should also record the windspeed, wind direction and air temperature, or at least an estimate of these conditions during spraying operations.

Section 3 - Motorised Application

This section applies in addition to sections 1 and 2, to any person who uses motorised equipment to apply agricultural chemical products.

16.You must regularly calibrate spraying equipment. Its performance must be checked to ensure correct application rates.
17.You must keep a record of equipment calibration and performance checks.
18.You must implement spray drift reduction strategies that are appropriate for the type of crop, layout, and sensitive land uses in adjacent areas. Such strategies should include consideration of wind direction and speed, temperature and humidity, atmospheric stability, nozzle selection, release height, delivery pressures, buffer distances and changes in conditions.
19.In the event of a major spill or other emergency involving agricultural chemicals, you must inform the Tasmanian Fire Service. Contingency plans for dealing with emergencies must be in place, and you must follow the procedures. Immediate action is usually necessary to minimise the effect of the spill or accident. Where an incident occurs that causes, or may cause, serious or material environmental harm, you must notify the Director of Environmental Management by telephoning 1800 005 171 as soon as practicable, but in any event within 24 hours.

Section 4 - Property Owners and Managers

20.You must clearly define the job to employees and contracted spray operators. This must include a description of the area to be sprayed, the crop, purpose of treatment, buffers, sensitive areas, site hazards and products to be used.
21. If you are a commercial grower or producer, you should notify occupiers of properties and buildings within 100 metres of any area to be sprayed, of your intention to spray at least one, but preferably two days in advance. The information you provide should include details of the sprays to be used and the steps that will be taken to minimise drift. Verbal notification is acceptable.
22.You must provide guidance and instruction on farm best practice, farm hygiene and occupational health and safety issues to employees and contracted spray operators who use or handle agricultural chemical products on your property. You must ensure they have access to Material Safety Data Sheets for each product they use or handle.
23. If you store agricultural products which are dangerous goods, or transport them on public roads, you must comply with the Dangerous Goods Act.
24.If you are a commercial grower or producer, you must maintain a record of spraying operations conducted on your property. The records must include the name of the spray operator and the details required under clauses 14 and 15.
25.You must ensure that if rinsates or washings are disposed on your property, they are disposed of in a manner that is acceptable to the Department of Primary Industries and Water. Records of disposal sites should be kept.
26. If on your property, a chemical product has been applied to agricultural produce or to plants from which agricultural produce has been derived, you must not supply, or forward for processing, that agricultural produce within the withholding period stated on the label of the chemical product.

Section 5 - Relation to Acts, Regulations and Other Codes

This Code of Practice does not remove or alter any obligation or requirement under any Act or Regulation or alter the need to comply with other Codes of Practice or industry guidelines.

The Tasmanian legislation regulating the use of agricultural chemicals is the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1995 and the regulations under this Act. Other relevant State legislation includes:
  • The Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 and regulations under this Act.
  • The Dangerous Goods Act 1998 and regulations under this Act.
  • The Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 and regulations under this Act.


Further Information

For all enquiries and drift complaints see: Spray Information and Incidents.


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