Magic weather WAND to avoid spray drift

Magic weather WAND to avoid spray drift

The Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) is a waving a new magic WAND to assist farmers in avoiding the risk of spray drift.

WAND is a $5.5 million investment being rolled out by GRDC, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) and Goanna Ag to develop a spray drift hazardous weather warning system across Queensland and NSW.

It is a network of weather stations that have been installed across growing regions to provide free, real-time weather data that identifies and measures the presence of hazardous temperature inversions that can be accessed via any smartphone. There are 45 towers in the State’s north and south, with more towers to being installed throughout central NSW.

Mungindi Cropping Group Project Officer, Jo Weier says the WAND inversion towers have been a valuable addition to the regions, with many growers and spray applicators making use of the technology.

But, for the technology to be truly effective and minimise the number of crops being impacted by spray drift, Ms Weier says everyone in the region spraying herbicide had to utilise it.

“Information from WAND is another tool to aid in making decisions around spraying. It’s a great tool, but we need everyone spraying chemical to use the system,” Ms Weier said.

“We’ll see a real difference if everyone is using the data to identify inversions and actively choosing not to spray when damage can occur.

GRDC has released a video explaining the WAND system in more detail, including how growers can access the data to inform their spray operations.

Primary producers across NSW continue to face a number of challenges relating to spray drift. NSW Farmers invites you to complete this short survey to help us understand the impacts of recent incidents and solutions needed to minimise spray drift incidents in NSW.

If you have experienced spray drift, you should report the incident to the NSW EPA. More information available here.