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Using chemicals

The use of chemicals on farms in NSW is regulated by legislation to ensure minimal negative effects on human health and the environment, and to ensure safe food for Australia and the countries we export to.

All farmers who use chemicals are deemed to be farm chemical users and have to keep records of all chemical usage.

It is normal practice to both consider the weather before, during and after applications of pesticides, when recording chemical usage.

The term pesticide is a general term. Within this we group pesticides into

  • herbicides (applied to plants to control weeds),
  • insecticides (applied to control particular insects) and
  • fungicides (applied to plants to control specific fungi).

Biological control agents are regularly used in place of chemicals in many food crops.

Spray drift is a serious issue associated with chemical application where sprayed chemical drifts onto adjacent or non-target situations.  All chemical users are obliged, by law to ensure spray drift does not occur.

How Local Land Services can help

Local Land Services (LLS) offers support and advice to help farmers and farming groups maintain safe, profitable and productive farms.
LLS work closely with organisations such as the Department of Primary Industries to provide up to date technical advice, support and pass on the latest scientific knowledge.

Training and courses

LLS is pivotal in the delivery of education programs such as the PROfarm range of short courses, including Chemical safety, Chemical risk management, Chemical application and fumigation on farms. We will coordinate local producer groups on timely and locally relevant topics such as nozzle selection, avoid inversions (weather related event), monitor temperature and humidity and select the right type of formulation for ground or aerial spraying.

Advice and assistance

Call 1300 795 299 to get in touch with a Local Land Services Officer.

Industry collaborators and resources

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA)
The NSW Pesticides Act controls the use of pesticides in NSW. EPA has some great information surrounding the act.

NSW Department of Primary Industries
The Department of Primary Industries works to develop and sustain diverse, profitable food and fibre industries, and ensures best practice management of our natural resources.

Grains Research and Development Corporation - Spray Drift 
Some great tips on spray drift and best practise for safety and management.

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)
The APVMA is an Australian government statutory authority established to centralise the registration of all agricultural and veterinary chemical products in Australia.