Mechanization and Technology

New spray technology and stewardship on show at GRDC Spray Days

24 August 2022, AU: New technology and the concept of an industry social licence has changed the way grain growers spray their crops and what they have to consider.

To discuss these changes and how growers can capitalise on them, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is hosting two Spray Days in the northern region this September, focusing on spray technology and innovation.

The GRDC Spray Days will be held at the Narromine Aero Club on Monday 12 September and at the Temora Agricultural Innovation Centre (Farmlink), on Tuesday 13 September.

GRDC northern region Grower Relations Manager Vicki Green, says that the Spray Days will assist growers in making more informed decisions on spray equipment investment and how to use technology for optimum benefit.

“There are so many new technologies around. We felt there was need for a forum where growers can be exposed to a large cross-section of these and to discuss some of the issues being confronted by our industry,” she says.

“In designing the GRDC Spray Days, we invited innovative machinery and software developers to be on-hand to discuss their technology innovations with growers.”

Mrs Green says topics for the sessions were selected by a local panel of growers and advisers to ensure they were relevant to growers and will include things like the concept of a social licence, maximum residue limits (MRLs), changes to 2,4-D use, optimising glyphosate efficiency and reducing spray drift risk.

Of particular interest will be the session led by GRDC Manager Chemical Regulation, Gordon Cumming, on the new network of inversion towers to identify the presence of hazardous temperature inversions.

Mr Cumming says that adverse spray conditions, particularly the prevalence of temperature inversions at night during summer, can greatly reduce the number of spray hours available to growers.

“The network will for the first time provide applicators with real time data including the presence or absence of ‘hazardous temperature inversions’, on a localised basis,” he says.

“This will enable applicators to maximise their spray hours whilst meeting their spray drift compliance obligations.

There will be a strong focus on spray technology at the events, especially weed detection technology, which Mrs Green says has been extremely topical across the industry due to a push from growers wanting to be more precise with their inputs.

“University of Sydney researcher, Guy Coleman, will provide an overview of what spray technologies are around, their current capabilities and where they’ll lead the industry into the future,” she says.

“There will be discussions, led by respected Walgett based consultant, Greg Rummery, to help growers understand how to match spray capacity to the scale of their operation.”

“Popular machinery and technology exhibitors will be at the event so growers can see what’s available on the market and discuss how it could fit in their businesses.”

Exhibitors and discussions will include:

  • FMC discussing their new spray adjuvant to reduce driftable spray particles,
  • Corteva talking about the new 2,4-D formulation Colex-D®,
  • Hardi will show growers the new GeoSelect® spraying solution,
  • Hutcheon & Pearce will discuss the latest See and Spray camera technology from John Deere,
  • McIntosh Distribution will discuss new precision application technologies for self-propelled sprayers including IntelliSpray®, the WeedSeeker® 2 spot spraying system, Bilberry® intelligent spot spraying and the Miller® Nitro system,
  • Ben Single from Single Agriculture will show how drones can be used to map weeds at 200ha per hour.

Attendance is free (morning tea and lunch provided), but registrations are essential for catering.

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