Aerial distribution of agricultural chemicals

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The distribution of agricultural chemicals involves spraying, spreading or dispersing from either ground equipment (ground distribution) or from an aircraft in flight (aerial distribution).

Aerial distribution includes not only aerial spraying of crops, but also any aerial baiting activity (e.g. rat or mice baits or 1080 baits) and public health pest control (e.g. municipal mosquito control programs). Aerial distribution is often the preferred method to apply agricultural chemicals when it is impractical or difficult to carry out ground distribution, particularly in wet seasons.

However, there are potential risks if agricultural chemicals are misused, particularly if product label instructions are not followed. In Queensland, pilots must be adequately trained to do the job and be accountable for any damage they cause as a result of their aerial distribution activities. For this reason, pilots and their businesses must be licensed.

This guide explains the licensing requirements and laws for aerial distribution, including the obligations for record keeping and avoiding agricultural chemical misuse.