Off-target spray drift issues

Off-target spray drift can cause injury or damage to plants, animals, environment or property. It can also affect human health. That's why it's important to understand the issues around spray drift and take steps to minimise the potential for damage.

All agricultural chemicals can drift when sprayed. There are 2 types of spray drift:

  • droplet drift - the direct airborne movement of liquid droplets away from the target intended to be sprayed
  • vapour drift - the airborne movement of vaporised agricultural chemicals from the sprayed area.

Chemical spraying is usually safe when performed by responsible operators who follow manufacturers' recommendations and the chemical product label instructions. However, off-target spray drift can occur when chemicals are misused when operators fail to observe product label instructions.

Please read labels carefully and ensure you fully understand all instructions before carrying out a spray operation. It is illegal to apply products contrary to label instructions.

This guide covers how to prevent spray drift, and what to do if it occurs.