Pesticide Management

Storing, handling and applying pesticides correctly greatly reduces any potential negative impacts to you, your staff, your business, your neighbours and the environment. This module is designed to assist you in satisfying the legal requirements and industry best management practices that relate to pesticide management.

Once you have completed this module to at least Level 2, you will have achieved the following:

  • Created clear communication guidelines around the use of chemicals on your farm; Identified where your sensitive areas and potential hazards are with respect to chemical application/storage;
  • Developed a system where you keep adequate pesticide application records;
  • Developed procedures to ensure spraying occurs in appropriate weather conditions;
  • Implemented the practices and procedures required to reduce the risk to your staff who use chemicals;
  • Established procedures for transporting, storing, mixing, applying and disposing of chemicals safely;
  • Assessed the suitability and modified (if required) your pesticide storage facility on the farm.


Key Area: Pre-season Planning and Communication

Develop a farm map to identify sensitive areas and potential hazards

Check List:

Level 2

A detailed farm map(s) has been developed that shows:

  • North orientation arrow,
  • Accurate scale,
  • Location of property boundaries,
  • Crop area,
  • On-farm and neighbouring houses and buildings,
  • Neighbouring agricultural areas identified (e.g. crops, grazing, bees, dairy, tree crops),
  • On-farm and neighbouring sensitive areas
  • Aircraft and spray rig hazards eg powerlines
  • Windsocks, weather stations, public roads, railway lines, stock routes and school bus routes
  • Chemical and fuel storage areas
Level 2 Contact details (phone, UHF) for the farm, relevant employees and neighbours are listed and kept with the farm maps
Level 2

CottonMap is updated at the beginning of each season

Workers are trained and provided information for the safe use of pesticides

Check List:

Level 1

Workers are instructed and trained in the safe use of pesticides (e.g. transport, application, mixing and loading, emergency procedures)

Level 1

NSW - All people involved in supervising, handling or the application of chemicals should have chemical user accreditation (including contractors)

Qld - Chemical users applying herbicides on properties other than their own have chemical user accreditation

Level 1

Workers know emergency procedures and emergency contact details

Level 1

All workers are informed about pesticide applications and crop re-entry periods prior to spraying

Level 1

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available and used as described on the label for mixing, loading and applying pesticides

Level 1

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are available to workers for all chemical products used on farm

Level 2

Hazardous work that includes pesticide preparation and application is not carried out by people under 18 years of age, pregnant, or nursing

Level 3

Details of sprayed fields and re-entry periods are clearly marked on a farm map and are displayed at a central location

Discussion of application requirements with consultant

Check List:

Level 2

A pre-season discussion is held with the consultant and documented [e.g. Pesticide Application Management Plan (PAMP)]

Level 2

Consultant is provided with a current farm map and contact details

Level 2 Consultants provide all spray recommendations in writing
Level 2

Communication for spray applications is clearly defined for:

  • who makes final decision on spraying,
  • product selection,
  • who orders the application,
  • notification of job completed
Level 2

Consultants are requested to access CottonMap and BeeConnected, prior to making spray recommendations

Level 3 Consultants are invited to participate in an Area Wide Management Group

Discussion of application requirements with spray applicator (ground and aerial)

Check List:

Level 1 Spray contractors agree to comply with all label requirements
Level 1

Spray contractors must maintain and supply a copy of all application records that are legally required by State requirements

Level 1

All people in NSW (including spray contractors) supervising, handling or applying pesticides must have chemical user accreditation.

Contractors in Qld applying herbicides must have chemical user accreditation

Level 2

A pre-season discussion is held with all aerial and groundrig spray contractors and documented (e.g. PAMP)

Level 2

Guidelines for acceptable spraying parameters are developed and provided to spray contractors (e.g. windspeed / direction, temperature, machine speed, water volumes, nozzles)

Level 2

Spray contractors are provided a current farm map and contact details

Level 2

Spray contractors provide written confirmation of job completed (e.g. pesticide application record)

Discussion of application requirements with neighbours

Check List:

Level 1

Neighbours are notified of applications where legally required by pesticide label

Level 2

A pre-season discussion is held with all neighbours and documented (e.g. PAMP). Discussion includes:

  • location of neighbouring houses,
  • location of neighbouring cropping, grazing and sensitive areas,
  • pesticides to be used and timing and method,
  • the method and timing of notification,
  • contact details for both parties,
  • weather conditions to spray,
  • how complaints are to be handled
Level 2

Neighbours are notified of applications according to their pre-season instructions / requests


Key Area: Product Selection and Use

Careful consideration is given when selecting and applying pesticides

Check List:

Level 1

Only registered products or products with current permits are selected and used on farms

Level 1

All product selections take into account potential for off-target damage (e.g. formulation type, adjuvant, odour, toxicity, effect on beneficial insects including bees)

Level 1

Pesticide labels that state 'spray drift restraints and mandatory no spray zones' are adhered to and a record of the no spray zone must be kept (e.g. map or spray record)

Level 2

The Insecticide Resistance Management Strategy (IRMS) for the region and Herbicide Resistance Management Strategy (HRMS) are followed for production selection and timing of application


Key Area: Transport, Storage and Handling of Pesticides

Safe transport of pesticides

Check List:

Level 1

Only legal quantities of pesticides are transported by farm vehicles

Level 1

Pesticides are transported:

  • securely in the back of an open vehicle,
  • isolated from people, food stuffs and other goods,
  • in containers that have been checked for leaks and breakages before loading and unloading

All pesticides are stored appropriately

Check List:

Level 1

All farm chemicals are stored securely e.g. prevent theft, not accessible by children

Level 1

All farm chemicals are stored in their original, labelled containers

Level 1

The pesticide store is located in appropriate location and a safe distance from:

  • sensitive areas (water bodies, drains),
  • houses,
  • the property boundary,
  • ignition sources - e.g. fuel, corrosive substances or gas cylinders, free of vegetation,
  • risk of flooding is considered
Level 1

The pesticide store is bunded to contain spills:

  • storage facility floor is made of an impermeable surface such as concrete or steel
  • the floor is bunded to contain spills (bunding is to contain 25% of the total volume stored or 100% of the largest container or whichever is greater)
Level 1

The pesticide store has adequate ventilation for its size:

  • one or more sides of the storage building is open, or
  • vents are installed in walls or ceilings
Level 1

Pesticides are stored in an appropriate shed / store:

  • separate building, room or enclosure,
  • access to running water (e.g. eye wash, emergency shower),
  • large enough to store the largest amount of pesticide at one time,
  • constructed of fire resistant and chemical resistant materials
Level 1

A register of hazardous chemicals (pesticides) is kept.

Note: If hazardous chemicals exceed Manifest Quantities (see table in resources), notification is required to NSW/Qld SafeWork agencies. A hazardous chemical manifest record, site plan, emergency procedures, will need to be provided

Level 1

Chemical groups (e.g. flammables, poisons, herbicides and insecticides) are separated from each other in the store

Level 2 Wherever practical, only minimum quantities are stored on farm with extra product sourced as required

Emergency procedures for pesticides

Check List:

Level 1

Appropriate safety signs are clearly visible at the chemical store

Level 1

An emergency plan has been written, is clearly displayed and employees and spray contractors must know the emergency plan and clean up procedures for chemical spills

Level 1

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are available for all chemicals and fuel stored on farm

Level 1

Emergency equipment is available for use in the event of a spill, poisoning or fire and the following are kept at the storage facility:

  • emergency spill kit,
  • first aid kit,
  • fire extinguisher,
  • ready access to clean water or an emergency eye wash / emergency shower

Mixing and loading pesticides

Check List:

Level 1

Label recommendations for the correct mixing order are always followed

Level 1 Suitable equipment is available to accurately measure quantities of pesticides
Level 1

The mixing site / wash down bay is at an appropriate location

Level 1

Emergency equipment is available on the spray rig or at the mixing loading site when mixing and loading pesticides

Level 2 Closed transfer systems are used where available, or alternatively, the filling point is easy to reach
Level 2 Mixing equipment is checked for breaks and leaks regularly and calibrated prior to use
Level 2

Water quality has been considered as poor water quality can affect product efficacy


Key Area: Disposal of Pesticide Waste and Containers

Dispose of chemical containers and unwanted chemical appropriately

Check List:

Level 1

Out of date, or products that are no longer registered are disposed of using Chemclear® , ChemCollect® or through an appropriate hazardous waste disposal centre

Level 1

All containers are triple rinsed during mixing. The rinsate is added to the spray tank

Level 1

Disposal of empty chemical containers is managed responsibly (e.g. drumMUSTER® program)

Level 2

Empty containers are stored securely prior to disposal

Level 2

Pesticides are purchased in recyclable or returnable containers where available

Level 2

Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC) are recycled through drumMUSTER® or returned to the local reseller


Key Area: Weather Monitoring and Recording

Apply pesticides during appropriate weather conditions

Check List:

Level 2

Weather forecasts are used where possible to determine appropriate application windows

Level 2

Regular maintenance of weather monitoring equipment


Key Area: Pesticide Application Equipment

The correct application equipment and techniques are used

Check List:

Level 1 Where a specific spray quality is a label requirement, nozzles are selected and operated at pressures, for both groundrig or aerial application, to satisfy this requirement
Level 2 Nozzle flow rates are calibrated prior to seasonal spraying activities (winter and summer)
Level 2 Automatic rate controller (where fitted) settings are checked and adjusted according to the application as required
Level 2 Pressure gauges are checked for accuracy and spray lines are checked for even pressure
Level 2

Travel speed is selected to ensure boom stability is maintained

Level 2 Where banded applications are made, the boom / nozzle height is adjusted to match band width chosen
Level 2 Plumbing and nozzle spacing are set to match row spacing and planting configurations
Level 2 Shielded sprayers are used where appropriate and practical
Level 2

Spray equipment is cleaned and decontaminated between different product applications

Level 3

GPS guidance and auto-steer are used for spraying activities

Level 3 Auto boom height control is fitted to the machine
Level 3 Recirculating booms are used where available and appropriate