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Keeping records of agricultural chemical applications

Amendments have been made to the Chemical Usage (Agricultural and Veterinary) Control Regulation 2017 in regards to record keeping and minimum training requirements for agricultural chemical users.

All agricultural chemical users are responsible under the Chemical Usage (Agricultural and Veterinary) Control Act 1988 for ensuring that records of each chemical application are made within 2 days of the application.

A copy of the records should also be kept by any licensed distribution contractor overseeing the chemical distribution, where relevant. Records should be retained by all parties for a minimum of 2 years. These records must be made available to the standards officer of Biosecurity Queensland or an inspector appointed under the Act upon request.

Certain non-agricultural chemical uses, such as domestic use of household or home garden products and chemicals for pool or spa treatment, are exempted from record keeping requirements under the legislation.

Conversely, there are some additional obligations for use of prescribed herbicides in certain situations within specified Great Barrier Reef catchments. Further information about these additional requirements can be found on the Department of Environment and Science website.

Benefits of keeping records of agricultural chemical use

Records are an excellent management tool and provide an information source that can be used to:

  • identify chemical use patterns
  • analyse the effectiveness of chemicals
  • assist in the design and implementation of integrated pest management programs
  • assess chemical resistance strategies
  • conduct financial planning and budgeting exercises
  • meet legal obligations
  • demonstrate due care and attention.

Types of agricultural chemical use records to keep

The Chemical Usage (Agricultural and Veterinary) Control Regulation 2017 and the Agricultural Chemicals Distribution Control Act 1966 collectively outline the types of records you need to make and keep for agricultural chemical use, including:

  • The full name and contact details, including address and telephone number, of:
    • the person who used the product
    • the owner or occupier of the land on which the product was used
    • anyone who was responsible for organising or directly supervising the chemical use.
  • The chemical application qualifications of the user and anyone responsible for organising or directly supervising the chemical use.
  • Sufficient particulars to identify the product or products used. Typically this would include the registered trade name of the product as found on the label, the registration number and label number assigned to the product by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, the name of the manufacturer of the chemical and the name and amount of the active constituent of the chemical.
  • Description and amount of any diluent (e.g. water) or additives added to the spray mixture (e.g. wetting agents, spreaders or emulsifiers).
  • Details identifying the exact location of the land treated, including distance and directions from the nearest town site (e.g. the Real Property Description Number found on the rates notice for the property, together with a farm map detailing paddock names or numbers). Use of global positioning system (GPS) devices may also be helpful in determining and recording the exact location of the land treated.
  • For aerial applications, the registration mark of the aircraft being used.
  • The date or dates of the chemical application.
  • For aerial applications, the start and finish times when the aerial distribution was carried out.
  • The equipment and methods used to apply the product (e.g. boomsprayer, handgun, type of nozzle used).
  • Details of weather conditions (temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, cloud cover, amount of any rain) before, during and after the product was used and the times the observations were made. It is good practice to also note the time of any changes to conditions, such as the wind velocity and direction, during chemical application.
  • The rate at which the product was used (e.g. per hectare) or enough information to calculate the rate, for example, the quantity, concentration, total spray volume and total area with respect to the chemical application.
  • A description of the type of crop treated or a situation in which the chemical was used (e.g. roadsides, fallow).
  • The purpose for which the chemical was applied (e.g. control of wild oats).
  • Any details stipulated in product label instructions or permit conditions.