Same people + Same course + New ‘brand’

Same people + Same course + New ‘brand’

Smith and Georg Staff

Our local hardware store recently changed its ‘brand’. For years it was a member of a familiar chain of hardware stores, and it recently changed to the “Home Hardware” brand. It’s the same store, staffed by the same friendly and helpful people, however by changing to a new ‘brand’ the owners are now able to provide an even better service to their clients.

Early in 2012 Smith & Georg made a similar change; we changed ‘brands’ of chemical training and accreditation. If you call us on the phone you will still speak with the same friendly and helpful people; our courses have not changed and we are still presented by the same people who have loads of knowledge and credibility; however we now have our own brand of training materials and accreditation card, and are able to provide an even better service to the people who attend their courses.

Dave Georg, Director, said that some of the advantages of doing Accreditation and Re-accreditation with Smith & Georg include:

  • The presenters are all primary producers, with years of experience using chemicals. They know what they’re talking about!
  • Cards are posted to course participants within 2 weeks of completing a course, usually sooner.
  • The course materials include the excellent Spraywise® Application Handbook valued at $49.
  • People anywhere in Australia can complete the Online version of the course, with assurance that their card will be recognized in all states.
  • People who register and pay for a course will receive a free weather meter (offer ends April 2013).

For more information go to the Smith & Georg website or call us on 1800 991 985 or 08 8389 1856

Online Chemical Accreditation now available in all states

Online Chemical Accreditation now available in all states

AustraliaAs far as we know, this is the only Chemical Accreditation course in Australia that (1) meets legal requirements in all states, (2) can be completed entirely online, and (3) caters for both Accreditation (first time) and Re-accreditation.

One of the winning features of the online course is it’s flexibility. Once registered, course participants can log on to the course whenever they want, for as long as they like, and as often as they like until they are finished. They can complete the course as quickly as they want to, or can spread it over 4 months, or longer if required.

Smith & Georg launched the first online version of their Chemical Accreditation course in early 2011. In mid 2012 we released a new, improved version of the course that is suitable for all states.

Check out Online Chemical Accreditation or call 1800 991 985, for more information or to register.

Code of Practice for Summer Weed Control

Code of Practice for Summer Weed Control

PIRSA Sumer Weed ControlSummer rainfall in cropping areas means summer weeds, which often means summer spraying with herbicides. Summer spraying of herbicides near horticultural crops, cotton and grapevines can cause damage worth millions. In the case of vines, its not just the physical damage to the growing crop, which may not always be obvious, it’s also the tiny residue of herbicide that ends up in wine, making it unsuitable for many markets.

To help reduce this risk, PIRSA released the Code of Practice for Summer Weed Control, which it encourages all farmers to follow when using herbicides in summer. Measures to reduce the risk of spray drift in summer include:

  • Not spraying at night if there is a surface temperature inversion present
  • Only spraying during the day when wind speed is between 3-15 kph, blowing away from sensitive areas
  • Set up sprayers (including nozzle type and size, spraying pressure, and use of adjuvants) to produce coarse or larger droplets
  • Keep boom height as low as possible
  • Don’t drive faster than 18kph when spraying

You can read the 2-page Code of Practice and other Useful Documents on the Smith & Georg website.

Watch out for Surface Temperature Inversions!

Watch out for Surface Temperature Inversions!

Temperature InversionInversion conditions can suppress the dispersion of airborne spray droplets and may cause them to;

  • remain at high concentrations for long periods over and close to the target,
  • travel close to the surface for many kilometers in light breezes,
  • move downslope and concentrate into low lying regions and
  • be transported in unpredictable directions.

To invert something is to turn it upside down. Normally air temperature will reduce as we leave the earth’s surface and gain altitude. Under surface inversion conditions the opposite occurs. Surface inversions are layers of the atmosphere near the earth’s surface in which temperature increases with height.

There are many causes of surface inversions but inversions caused by radiation are the most hazardous. Radiation inversions usually begin to occur near sunset after the ground cools rapidly. As the ground cools the air in contact with the ground also cools, leaving layers of warmer air above. As cooling of the earth continues, inversions intensify and deepen up to the time of the overnight minimum temperature.

Next morning as the sun heats the soil surface, the air immediately above the surface is warmed and breaks down the inversion layer.

When an inversion forms over flat ground, air within the inversion does not tend to flow out of the region but remains in place. Thus, airborne pesticides tend to float over the immediate area of application.

When inversions form over sloping ground the cooled air near the surface, being more dense and heavier, will travel downslope to settle at the lowest point in the landscape. If pesticides are applied under these conditions they may easily be transported off site into lower areas.

Chemical regulators are now responding to the importance of inversion conditions. Look for instructions on labels such as “DO NOT spray under surface temperature inversion conditions”. This is a Mandatory Statement and is enforceable by law.

The following indicators may help to recognise inversion conditions;

  • no cloud towards evening,
  • mist, fog, dew and frost occur,
  • smoke or dust hangs in the air,
  • remote sounds are clearer at night and
  • aromas are more distinct at night
  • difference in day and night temperature of at least 5°C

In fact, assume that there will be a surface temperature inversion every night, unless one of the following occurs:

  • there is continuous rain all night, or
  • wind speed remains above 11kph all night, or
  • there is continuous low cloud (not fog) all night

To minimise the risk of spray drift during inversion conditions:

  • apply best practice application techniques
  • avoid generating driftable droplets
  • use appropriate nozzles
  • avoid excessive pressures
  • keep the droplet release height to a minimum and where possible
  • knockoff spraying an hour or two before sunset and
  • avoid spraying for several hours after sunrise

GRDC has an excellent Fact Sheet.