In this section we share some of the questions that we have been asked by our clients, and the answers that have kindly been provided by Industry experts.

We welcome your questions – simply email them to us.

We also encourage you to share extra information that you can add to any of the answers.

Please note that we take all care to answer questions accurately. However, neither Smith & Georg, or our Industry partners, take responsibility for how the information is used, or for any damage that may occur as a result of the information that we provide in good faith.

ACUP in Victoria

Q. I’m in Victoria, do I need an ACUP?

A. You must hold a current ACUP (Agricultural Chemical Users Permit) to use the following restricted chemicals in Victoria:

  • Schedule 7 products (with the signal heading DANGEROUS POISON)
  • Products containing either of the active constituents: atrazine and metham sodium
  • Products containing ester formulations of 2,4-D;  2,4-DB;  MCPA;  or triclopyr

Chemical Accreditation alone, does NOT allow you to use these products; however it does enable you to apply for an ACUP.

The only way you can use any of those products without an ACUP is for you to work under the direct supervision of a person who holds a current ACUP.  Direct supervision means within sight and sound of that person; which effectively means the person with an ACUP must be sitting on the tractor next to you.

For a more comprehensive explanation of the difference between the accreditation and an ACUP, and how to apply for an ACUP, go to http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/agriculture-and-food/farm-management/chemical-use/agricultural-chemical-use/licenses-permits-and-forms/acups-and-chemical-user-courses-whats-the-difference. Alternatively you can call 136 186 and discuss your situation with a Chemical Standards Officer.

Spraying glyphosate at the same time as cutting hay (October 2011)

Q. A lot of farmers in our district have fitted a spray boom on their swather. They spray glyphosate behind the cutting deck when cutting hay or swathing canola in order to kill any remaining weeds before they set seed. I’ve heard that it is illegal to apply glyphosate in this way – is that true?

Spraying underneath the windrower/swather is classified as an over the top application due to the harvestable commodity still being sprayed and the potential for residue to accumulate on the commodity. If there is no over the top registration for the chemical in the specific crop that it is being used in, then it is considered an illegal practice. This is due to the potential not to have MRL’s in place and the lack of registration for the specific application. Grain and feed from crops that have glyphosate applications applied under the cutter bar will still exceed current MRLs which could jeopardise our current markets. There are significant penalties that may be imposed on growers that are found to be selling produce that is contaminated with unacceptable chemical residues. Nufarm are working toward future lable extensions for glyphosate based products to be used under the cutter.

(Answer provided by Aaron Edmunds, Nufarm)

Boom height when spraying short weeds in stubble (October 2011)

Q. When using a boomsprayer fitted with 110O nozzles, spaced 50cm apart on the boom, we spray with the boom 50cm above the target, in order to achieve ‘double overlap’. If we are spraying short weeds growing in a taller stubble, should the boom be 50cm above the weeds or 50cm above the top of the stubble?

A. If the stubble is above the height of the weeds then this is called a false target. For correct application and to ensure double overlap with 110 degree nozzles at 50cm spacing, the height of the boom must be 50cm above the false target. Basically 50cm above the stubble.

(Answer provided by Aaron Edmunds, Nufarm)

Disposing of non-returnable ‘Shuttles’

Q. Now that shuttles are no longer returnable, how should we clean the last bit of chemical out of them, and how should be dispose of them?

A. All Nufarm shuttles are returnable. There are suppliers in the market, particularly traders importing fully finished goods, that do not have a return system on their shuttles. This is a concern for Nufarm as the amount of shuttles accumulating on farm, coupled with the issue of disposal, is growing year on year.

Nufarm have explored the “one way” shuttle option, however at this stage given the issues surrounding disposal, cross contamination, quality control of containers and durability, we believe that our system of drum return is best for the industry long term.

(Answer provided by Aaron Edmunds, Nufarm)

Dispersal of phosphine gas in silos of grain

Q. I know that phosphine gas is heavier than air. Should I therefore put the tablets at the top of the silo or at the bottom of the silo, in order to get best mixing of the gas?

A. All gases behave in the same way, when they are released, or in the case of phosphine when added to a sealed gas-tight silo in a solid (ie tablet or bagchain) formulation, the product reacts with moisture to liberate phosphine gas from the solid formulation. The gas mixes with the atmosphere in the silo and disperses throughout the atmosphere in the space in which it is contained (the sealed gas-tight silo). Dispersion and mixing of the gas will be affected by temperature and convection, but will ultimately come to a point of equilibrium in the space and have a relatively constant concentration. For this reason tablets can be put at the top or bottom provided the gas can move unimpeded into the space in which is mixing.

(Answer provided by Peter Botta, Peter Botta Consulting)

Chemical Accreditation and Employment

Q. What possible career pathways and employment opportunities are there from completing a Chemical Accreditation course?

A. Smith & Georg is not an Employment Agency and does not provide employment search services. The Chemical Accreditation course is used by the following industries:

  • Agriculture
  • Horticulture
  • Viticulture
  • Animal Husbandry industries
  • Land managers
  • Mine Rehabilitation organisations
  • Councils, State & Federal Government agencies
  • Aboriginal Communities
  • Land & Bush care organisations
  • Golf Courses, Race Courses and other amenity maintenance managers

and many others to meet both regulatory and WHS requirements.