A series of hands-on spray training workshops that include farm visits to fine-tune individual spray equipment will start in late May for southern New South Wales grain and cotton growers.
The Advanced Chemical Spray Application Training course is being offered by Tocal College through the AgSkilled strategy, a training initiative funded by the NSW Government, and led by industry partners the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and Cotton Australia.
GRDC Northern Panel Member Roy Hamilton is encouraging growers to attend the AgSkilled Advanced Spray Application Training course to ensure they stay up-to-date with the current best-practice spray application methods.
The next round of courses start in May, with the first being held at Deniliquin (May 22), followed by Finley (May 29) and Jerilderie (June 5). There will be eight additional courses running throughout southern NSW until October.
AgSkilled Project Coordinator Claudia Vicary said the sessions will be run by Craig Day, an experienced spray specialist from Spray Safe and Save.
“AgSkilled is committed to bringing these training opportunities, driven by industry, to NSW’s grain and cotton growing centres, including regional and remote areas that may not have been offered these learning opportunities in the past,” Ms Vicary said.
The courses consist of two parts: a one-day workshop and an on-farm visit later the same week.
GRDC Crop Protection Officer North Vicki Green said the structure of the course made it a perfect fit for those with experience in spray application.
“Explaining the how, what, where and why behind good spray practice and then actually helping growers set up their equipment on-farm and develop management plans means there is a meaningful combination of theory and practice with this course,” Mrs Green said.
“Spray drift is still a serious issue for the grains and cotton industries and this course covers topics that will help growers build on their knowledge and in turn ensure they are making more informed decisions on-farm, which has benefits for the entire industry.”
GRDC Northern Panel Member Roy Hamilton is encouraging growers to attend the training courses to ensure they stay up-to-date with the current best-practice spray application methods.
“As growers, we need to be informed about how we set up our equipment as one set up of speed, pressure and volume will not suit all chemicals or different environment conditions,” he said.
“The hands-on aspect of this course will help growers fine-tune their skills in setting up booms to suit different situations and environmental conditions.
“Growers will also be assisted to develop customised spray management plans to reduce the risks of off-target application when spraying and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their spray practices.”
Forbes grain grower, Jamie Morgan completed the AgSkilled Advanced Spray Training course in September 2017 to improve his risk management skills amidst increasing cotton production in the Forbes region.
“I found the course extremely beneficial, as it gave a great explanation of the science behind why we need to change our spray methods and application, in particularly the importance of coarse nozzles and analysis of weather conditions to reduce spray drift,” Mr Morgan said.
“The practical, on-farm element of this course was invaluable in improving my knowledge of nozzle selection and since then I have had less stress about my spray decisions.
“The course trainer looked at our boom set-up and recommended appropriate changes. A spray plan was created and the machine calibrated to this and then operated. This hands-on training on-farm really consolidated and put into practice the course theory.”
The AgSkilled Advanced Spray Application Training courses consist of two parts: a one-day workshop; plus a workplace visit later that week.
Deniliquin – workshop, May 22; workplace visits, May 23-25
Finley – workshop, May 29; workplace visits, April 30 – June 1
Jerilderie – workshop, June 5; workplace visits June 6-8
Holbrook – workshop, June 12; workplace visits, May 13–15
Oaklands – workshop, June 19; workplace visits, June 20-22
Griffith – workshop, June 26; workplace visits, June 27-29
Leeton – workshop, July 3; workplace visits, July 4-6
Harden 1 – workshop, August 14; workplace visits, August 15-17
Harden 2 – workshop, August 21; workplace visits, August 22-24
Forbes – workshop, September 25; workplace visits, September 26-28
Grenfell – workshop, October 2; workplace visits, October 3-5
To register your interest contact Cath on 02 6345 5818 or 0437 455 818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claudia Vicary, AgSkilled
0409 043 774
Toni Somes, Cox Inall Communications
0427 878 387