Farmers in Darling Downs have revealed inappropriate spraying procedures have damaged cotton crops in the area, according to rural media outlet The Land.
Spraying in adverse weather conditions last season caused herbicide to drift over long distances, contaminating more than 12,000 hectares of Australian cotton crop.
This cost the Australian cotton sector approximately 8.8 million in lost profits, and industry leaders are concerned history may be repeating itself this year.
The herbicide in question – Phenoxy 2,4-D – is particularly dangerous to cotton crops, but affected farmers are urging all industries to stay alert.
“Cotton farmers understand that weed control is important, but so is respecting your neighbours and their ability to earn an income from the land,” Cotton Australia policy officer Sahil Prasad said in the December 31 article.
One way those who own cotton farms can protect their crops is to register their fields with the CottonMap service, run through Cotton Australia.
So far growers have registered more than 394,000 hectares of cotton farmland on CottonMap, making it easier for sprayers to decide when to avoid spraying based on wind direction and weather conditions.
Additionally, sprayers are urged to follow recommendations and rules closely, especially when working with Phenoxy-based herbicide.
“We ask all farmers, whether they are growing cotton or other crops, to be mindful of weather conditions, talk to their neighbours and prepare properly for spraying,” Mr Prasad said.
If you are currently growing cotton or other crops in Australia, you may want to review your farmers insurance policy.
MGA Insurance Brokers can help you choose comprehensive crop insurance plan to ensure you are covered if your fields are damaged from spray drift or other loss-causing events.