Moree Plains, Narrabri and Walgett farmers engaging on pesticide use

Farmers in Moree Plains, Narrabri and Walgett are getting a visit from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) as part of a three-day blitz engaging farmers on proper pesticide use.

EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Carmen Dwyer said getting boots on the ground to do inspections is a great opportunity to educate farmers about responsible pesticide use and understand any challenges around complying with label requirements.

“We recognise education is key to preventing spray drift that’s why we’re focused on educating farmers alongside traditional compliance approaches.

“We know the agricultural sector shares our concern about the number of spray drift incidents this season and we’re committed to reducing the number of incidents occurring.

“It’s been tough for the agricultural sector over the last few years with farmers facing adverse conditions including drought, floods and mouse plagues,” Ms Dwyer said.

“These inspections are part of a larger compliance campaign the EPA is running across NSW, targeting agricultural areas with high rates of pesticide use including the Macquarie Valley and Grafton areas.   

“As part of the targeted campaign we’ll be meeting with farmers directly to discuss appropriate pesticide use and how they can meet their legal obligations.

“We are keen to work with farmers across these regions to better inform best practice chemical storage,  record keeping and how to apply pesticides safely while reducing the risk to neighbouring crops, pets, livestock, the environment and their communities.

“Every landholder has a responsibility to ensure they are up to date on pesticide management to protect their neighbours and the environment.

The EPA is also continuing to work closely with peak industry bodies, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Local Land Services, and other regulatory bodies to increase education and improve compliance.

The inspections will focus on:

  • pesticides in use
  • understanding of pesticide label information
  • pesticide storage practices
  • records of pesticide use
  • pesticide user training records

The EPA is starting inspections on Tuesday 21 February in the Narrabri, Moree Plains and Walgett areas.

For more information on best practice use of pesticides visit the EPA’s website.