2,4-D Alert: APVMA Spray Drift Review & Changes Imposed For 2,4-D Use

2,4-D New Requirements for Use We want to inform customers that the APVMA has announced that it is placing new spray requirements on all 2,4-D…
October 10, 2018Ag Chem Back to All

2,4-D New Requirements for Use

We want to inform customers that the APVMA has announced that it is placing new spray requirements on all 2,4-D products for the 2018-19 season, as a part of their review on 2,4-D and spray drift.

During the suspension period, between 3 October 2018 and 2 October 2019, use of 2,4-D products will still be allowed, but only under a new permit issued by the APVMA with new restrictions and directions for use.

We urge growers to take the time and effort to understand and adhere to the new rules. We believe that failure to adhere to these restrictions or not keeping adequate spraying records could possibly result in a grower being liable for off-target damage 10s-100s of km away, even if the particular grower isn’t in the wrong.
If these measures don’t reduce spray drift issues then the next likely step for the APVMA is to suspend 2,4D products entirely. These new rules show how serious they are about reducing off-target damage and this might be our last chance to make significant changes. It’s up to us to prove we can use these products correctly or we lose them.

*Update – Nozzle Selection*
To make things simple and efficient, the easiest option is to swap your nozzles over to ones which will produce Ultra Coarse (UC) droplets. That way you are completely covered in all areas. Moreover, Ultra Coarse droplets combined with high water rates will not only minimise spray drift but also improve droplet survival on targeted weeds under summer spraying conditions.

The easiest and most popular way we’ve found to do this is to use TTi Teejets, and swap colour for colour. (Always double check on the nozzle guide provided, we have suggested this based on applications using 80L/ per hectare or more, and above 3 bar.)
Nozzles can then be swapped back for pre-em spraying when completed using 2,4-D products. Growers may have to get used to having 2 sets of nozzles.

Go to grdc.com.au/NozzleSelectionGuide to see the GRDC Nozzle Selection Guide for more information on nozzles.

We want to remind growers that it is essential to cover themselves by recording all spray details, including boom height above ground and height above target weeds.

The key points from the new permit guidelines are:

– A new requirement of Minimum VERY COARSE spray droplet size.
– A restriction on applications during temperature inversions.
– Advisory instructions including EXTREMELY COARSE to ULTRA COARSE spray droplet size category and reduced boom/release heights for both ground and aerial application in cereals, pasture and fallow between 1 October 2018 and 15 April 2019.
– Maximum boom height of .5m.
– New mandatory downwind buffers zones.


See below for details.

These changes are part of the APVMA’s ongoing 2,4-D Chemical Review, as they try to mitigate spray drift risk. A full review is expected to be completed next year.
You can find the full details on the APVMA website at:
The permit Number is Permit 87174.

Under the new permit, APVMA have advised the following conditions for the supply and use of 2,4-D products:
* Users must follow the new instructions when using 2,4-D products already in their possession. It is up to the grower to follow these new instructions.
* For old stock manufactured before 1 November 2018, a copy of the new 2,4-D label spray drift instructions will be provided at the sale, and can also be found online.
* All newly manufactured product will come with amended labels.

We want to let growers know that the new requirements do not change or restrict other aspects of the currently approved use patterns and should not affect the availability of the product. Products are still effective with the new instructions. We will get new labels to you as soon as our suppliers finalize them.

New Directions and Restrictions Regarding The Use of 2,4-D

Details from the permit regarding use are:


– DO NOT apply in a manner that may cause an unacceptable impact to native vegetation, agricultural crops, landscaped gardens and aquaculture production, or cause contamination of plant or livestock commodities, outside the application site from spray drift. The buffer zones in the relevant buffer zone tables on the permit provide guidance but may not be sufficient in all situations. Wherever possible, correctly use application equipment designed to reduce spray drift and apply when the wind direction is away from these sensitive areas.
– DO NOT allow bystanders to come into contact with the spray cloud.
– DO NOT apply unless the wind speed is between 3 and 15 kilometers per hour at the application site during the time of application.
– DO NOT apply if there are surface temperature inversion conditions present at the application site during the time of application. These conditions exist most evenings one to two hours before sunset and persist until one to two hours after sunrise.

Recognizing a surface temperature inversion:

A surface temperature inversion is likely to be present if:
– Mist, fog, dew or a frost have occurred.
– Smoke or dust hangs in the air and moves sideways, just above the ground surface.
– Cumulus clouds that have built up during the day collapse towards evening.
– Wind speed is constantly less than 11 km/hr in the evening and overnight.
– Cool off-slope breezes develop during the evening and overnight.
– Distant sounds become clearer and easier to hear
– Aromas become more distinct during the evening than during the day.

Spray Timing:

– Spray during the day wherever possible. Vertical mixing of the air makes surface temperature inversions unlikely and will reduce the risk of drift caused by surface temperature inversions.
– There is a very low risk of surface temperature inversion when there is continuous overcast weather, with low and heavy cloud and/or wind speed remains above 11km/h for the whole period between sunset and sunrise.
– A lack of suitable weather conditions for spraying over extended periods is not an excuse for spraying in unsuitable conditions.

– DO NOT apply if crop or weeds are stressed due to dry or excessively moist conditions
– DO NOT apply with spray droplets smaller than VERY COARSE spray droplets according to the ASAE S572.1 definition for standard nozzles.
– DO NOT use if rain is likely within 6 hours

Record Keeping

Users of this product MUST make an accurate written record of the details of each spray application within 24 hours following application and KEEP this record for a minimum of 2 years.
The spray application details that must be recorded are:
1- date of use with start and finish times of application;
2- the specific location which must include address and paddock/s sprayed;
3- Product trade name (full name) of the product being used;
4- rate of application which must include the amount of product used per hectare and number of hectares applied to;
5- situation, crop or commodity to which the chemical was applied;
6- wind speed and direction during application;
7- air temperature and relative humidity during application;
8- nozzle brand, model, size, type, and spray system pressure measured during application;
9- height of spray boom from the ground ;
10- name and contact details of the person applying this product (Additional record keeping and/or details may be required by the state or territory where this product is used)
– Watch for changes in weather conditions. Stop spraying immediately if a surface temperature inversion occurs or if spraying condition

Summer Spraying

They also have in place advisory statements about spray application over summer (1st October 2018 to 15th April 2019).
Growers are advised to:
– Use nozzles that produce Extremely Coarse (XC) to Ultra Coarse (UC) Droplets
– Use higher water rates per hectare to give better efficacy
– Use slower application speeds to allow operators to lower boom heights
By doing all of the above, the risk of off-target inversion drift should be further mitigated.

Boom Spray Requirements

BOOM SPRAYERS (ground application)
DO NOT apply by a boom sprayer unless the following requirements are met:
– spray droplets not smaller than a VERY COARSE (VC) spray droplet size category (minimum XC between 3 October and 15 April – advisory)
– boom heights 0.5 metres or lower above the target canopy (The higher of either the crop canopy or the targeted weeds).
– minimum distances between the application site and downwind sensitive aquatic and wetland areas including aquacultural ponds, surface streams and rivers (see Aquatic ‘Downwind mandatory no-spray zone’ section of the permit table titled ‘Buffer zones for boom sprayers’) are observed.
– Minimum distances between the application site and downwind sensitive crops, gardens, landscaping vegetation, protected native vegetation or protected animal habitat (see Terrestrial ‘Downwind mandatory no-spray zone’ section of the permit table titled ‘Buffer zones for boom sprayers’) are observed. The buffer zones provide guidance but may not always be completely protective of all agricultural crops.

Buffer Zone requirements can be found on the permit.