Marlborough has a long history of horticulture and viticulture cultivation. In recent years, viticulture has undergone a rapid expansion. Marlborough is now world famous for its wines and is New Zealand's largest and best known wine growing area.
The plains of Marlborough are now characterised by the regular pattern of vineyard rows.
What is spray drift?
Horticultural and viticultural agrichemicals is a term for chemicals which are used mostly in farming industries. Agrichemicals are used to control the spread of insects, weeds, plant diseases and other pests. These chemicals are applied to crops and other target areas by a variety of means but are most often sprayed, either at ground level or by aerial means.
Spray drift occurs when spray drifts away from the target crop or area. It can cause problems if it comes in contact with non-target areas. These could be neighbouring crops or plants, residential areas, schools, waterways or other receptors that might be damaged by coming into contact with these chemicals. Some agrichemicals can be harmful to people and pets, or can harm other crops and plants.
Wind, air temperature, soil temperature, relative humidity, water volume, nozzle type, nozzle size and operating pressure all determine the potential for spray drift to occur in an area.
Why are we concerned about spray drift?
- The dominance of viticulture in the region has led to increased use of agrichemicals
- The windy nature of the open plains, particularly in spring
- Spray drift can be a health risk to humans and animals
- Spray drift can damage crops and other plants
- Spray drift can harm the environment
- Wasted spray is expensive
- Spray applicators can be liable for damages if inappropriate use leads to health or environmental damages