06 November 2018

New record keeping requirements for 2,4-D applications

As of 3 October 2018, new 2,4-D label instructions have come into effect, as mandated by the Australian Pest and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA). Old labels have been suspended effective immediately and users of 2,4-D must comply with the new instructions, even when using products with old labels. At the moment, suppliers are working on updating their labels to comply with the new instructions.

These new instructions of use include:

  • A requirement not to spray in inversion conditions and additional information on recognising inversion conditions
  • Downwind mandatory no spray zones for both aquatic and terrestrial off target vegetation (including sensitive crops, gardens, landscaping vegetation, protected native vegetation or protected animal habitat)
  • A requirement to use nozzles producing droplets no smaller than the Very Coarse spray quality category
  • Mandatory record keeping requirements
  • Advisory statements about spray application over summer.

These new instructions are provided to reduce the likelihood of off-target spray damage as a lot of problems in past summer crop seasons have been attributed to 2,4-D usage. The new 2,4-D label instructions are also widely seen as a test case for ‘self-regulation’ of chemical usage as the introduction of more herbicide tolerant crops is expected in Australia. There has always been a potential of having herbicides like 2,4-D completely banned in future and having even bigger problems with products such as Dicamba and Glyphosate getting applied in-crop. These regulations are perceived as an industry effort to minimise the problems of off-target herbicide drift by “self-regulating measures” in the form of stricter label instructions, and trying to prevent government bans or other outside interference.

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The new 2,4-D label permit has been added in the Agworld library and is available as additional information for all required 2,4-D products. This permit can be sent as an attachment with a recommendation in Agworld so you can ensure that your spray operator has access to the most recent APVMA label instructions.

The mandatory record keeping requirements are listed in the new label instructions as follows:

  1. Date of use with start and finish times of application
  2. The specific location which must include address and paddock/s sprayed
  3. Product trade name (full name) of the product being used
  4. Rate of application which must include the amount of product used per hectare and number of hectares applied to
  5. Situation, crop or commodity to which the chemical was applied
  6. Wind speed and direction during application
  7. Air temperature and relative humidity during application
  8. Nozzle brand, model, size, type, and spray system pressure measured during application
  9. Height of spray boom from ground
  10. Name and contact details of person applying this product

Technology has long been seen as one of the key tools to help growers prevent spray drift, see here for our thought leadership on this topic, and technology plays a big role in helping growers to stay compliant with these new requirements. For Agworld users, requirements numbered 1-7 and 10 all have their individual fields that can be filled in as part of the spraying operation when creating your application; don’t forget to assign your job to the operator though, so that their name and contact details are recorded as stipulated. Requirement 8 and 9 can be added to the ‘comments’ section when recording these specific products.

In order to make it easier to record the same spray setup information on multiple spray records, Agworld Product Manager David Jeffries has the following tips: “There’s a range of tools that can be used to speed up adding the same details and comments to multiple activities. One of the easiest tools is to use the recent comments option when using our mobile apps. This will let you add recently used comments which could include the specific nozzle details, pressure and boom height in one tap. That way, you only have to type the setup information once and just edit the details when and if they change."

You can also use one of the inbuilt iOS feature on your iPhone or iPad called Text Replacement.

This feature is a quick way to add commonly used phrases to text boxes in any app - for example, you could set your most common 2,4-D spray settings to be inserted whenever you type “24d” into the comments box. To set this up on your iPhone or iPad, navigate to 'settings > general > keyboard > text replacement'.

In addition to the above options, you can user Agworld’s activity template feature or even copy a previously created activity to save time when filling in some of the required details. It is also worth mentioning that these above tips and features have the potential to speed up all your Agworld record keeping, not just the 2,4-D applications.

If you have any questions or comments on how Agworld helps you being compliant with these new record keeping requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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