As the area of crops reported to have been hit by off-target spray drift increases, Cotton Australia has continued to expand its response, and is working closely with state and federal regulators.
Cotton Australia staff have already met with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the federal regulator, the APVMA. Discussions have also been scheduled with Biosecurity Queensland, and an approach has been made to the Victorian body, Agriculture Victoria. In response, the EPA has met or is scheduled to meet with grower groups in the Macquarie & Lachlan Valleys as well as the Walgett Shire.
Cotton Australia is also preparing an options paper to address a long-term strategy to combat spray drift. Feedback from cotton grower associations will be sought ahead of a discussion with CGA member representatives at the upcoming Cotton Australia May General Meeting, to be held on May 29 in Sydney.
To date, Cotton Australia has received 90 reports of spray drift-affected cotton totalling just under 43,000ha. The greatest number of reports have been received from the Lower Namoi, Walgett, Macquarie and Macintyre Valleys.
Cotton Australia urges all growers impacted by spray drift to contact their nearest Cotton Australia regional manager to fill out a spray drift report