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You are here: Home Media Media Releases 30 September 2011 - Growers Defend Diuron

30 September 2011 - Growers Defend Diuron

Grain Producers Australia Limited (GPA) calls for common sense in spray regulations in its formal response to the current review of the use Diuron in Australia.

GPA Chairman, Pete Mailler said," The APVMA has been undertaking a review of the registration of Diuron as a result of a submission provided by The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC)."

GPA is concerned that the submission and assessment provided by DSEWPaC is inherently flawed and demonstrates an unacceptable bias by the department in terms of the impact and attitude of agriculturists. Furthermore the DSEWPaC has made a case for impact of Diuron based on cultural practices that are out of date and do not reflect the way in which broadacre grain producers currently farm and mitigate the potential impact the of Diuron.

"There has been no evidence presented that supports the department's assertions of risk, impact or misuse of the product under current production systems and application guidelines used in the broadacre grain industry."

The environmental impacts of the removal of Diuron for use in broadacre crop production systems will be profound. Diuron is a critical product used strategically in rotation to enable producers to retain crop residues and minimise or eliminate the need for soil tillage. This retention of crop residue and minimum tillage is regarded as the single most effective method of reducing water runoff and soil movement and is considered one of the most relevant measures of agricultural sustainability and key in reducing sedimentation of aquatic and marine areas. Removal of Diuron from the broadacre farming system will directly contribute to negative impacts on water quality entering riverine and marine environments.

GPA asserts that the DSEWPaC has failed to prove its case or justify its recommendations. The DSEWPaC's methodology and conclusions are demonstrably unsound and the recommendations are unsuitable for implementation by industry, research or government agencies in their regulatory and policy processes.

"If APVMA decides to suspend the registration of Diuron for use in broadacre cropping, it needs to do so in the full knowledge that this action will have a significant, disproportionate and detrimental impact on the environmental stewardship capacity of the broadacre grain industry across Australia."

"The broadacre cropping sector and grain producers in particular have been driving innovation in the use and application of agricultural chemicals for many years. We have been successfully reducing off target movement of these essential products through education and adoption of best management practice and there is a strong and ongoing commitment to the responsible use of agricultural chemicals."

GPA acknowledges the need for ongoing research to continually improve spraying technology and management practices across the full range of agricultural sectors.

Mr Mailler concluded, "GPA is committed to ensuring regulations around pesticide applications are practical and do not penalise responsible agricultural chemical users. We have lodged our submission to APVMA and will look to lobby for a sensible outcome in relation to the retention of the Diuron registration."

ENDS
For more information please contact: Pete Mailler  Ph: 07 4676 5112   Mob: 0427 265 707

pdf GPA Media Release 300911 (19 Kb)
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