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Diuron Suspension Doesn't Affect Broad Acre Farmers

30 November 2011

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has suspended the use of diuron in high risk situations to protect aquatic ecosystems. However the continued registered use of the herbicide is allowed by Australian broad acre farmers.

Diuron is used for the control of both broadleaf and grass weeds in agriculture. It is also used to control weeds and algae in and around water bodies. The suspension affects approximately two thirds of the 101 diuron products currently registered.

The decision is the latest phase of a review which began in 2002, based on environmental and human health concerns which specifically focuses on the potential for contamination of the marine environment through agricultural runoff of the chemical.

The suspension - effective from 28 November 2011 to 31 March 2012 - prohibits diuron use:

  • on tropical crops (sugarcane, tea, bananas, pineapples, coffee and paw paw) during the defined no-spray period;
  • in irrigation channels, drains, industrial and non-agricultural situations until 31 March 2012.

Western Australian Farmers Director of Policy, Alan Hill, said the APVMA's decision endorses the current broad acre use patterns of diuron in Western Australia.

"APVMA's list of restraints for the use of diuron does not impact on the chemical's current use in broad acre crops," Mr Hill said.

"Diuron users should be aware and familiarise themselves with the restraints to use the chemical.

"The APVMA's rulings were in line with comments in WAFarmers' submission to the review that further restricting the use of diuron in Western Australian broad acre farms was not warranted.

"This decision ends months of uncertainty for farmers regarding the use of diuron," Mr Hill concluded.

WAFarmers will work with industry to ensure the correct use of diuron in broad acre crops.

Full details about the diuron suspension and review are available at www.apvma.gov.au.

TheCropSite News Desk



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