Cropping

Fine-tune spray skills

By Country News

A series of hands-on spray training workshops that include farm visits to fine-tune individual spray equipment will start in late May for southern NSW grain and cotton growers.

The Advanced Chemical Spray Application Training course is being offered by Tocal College through the AgSkilled strategy, a training initiative funded by the NSW Government and led by industry partners the Grains Research and Development Corporation and Cotton Australia.

The next round of courses start in May, with the first being held at Deniliquin, followed by Finley and Jerilderie.

There will be eight additional courses running throughout southern NSW until October.

AgSkilled project co-ordinator Claudia Vicary said the sessions would be run by Craig Day, an experienced spray specialist from Spray Safe and Save.

‘‘AgSkilled is committed to bringing these training opportunities, driven by industry, to NSW’s grain and cotton growing centres, including regional and remote areas that may not have been offered these learning opportunities in the past,’’ Ms Vicary said.

The courses consist of two parts: a one-day workshop and an on-farm visit later the same week.

GRDC crop protection officer Vicki Green said the structure of the course made it a perfect fit for those with experience in spray application.

‘‘Explaining the how, what, where and why behind good spray practice and then actually helping growers set up their equipment on-farm and develop management plans means there is a meaningful combination of theory and practice with this course,’’ Mrs Green said.

‘‘Spray drift is still a serious issue for the grains and cotton industries and this course covers topics that will help growers build on their knowledge and in turn ensure they are making more informed decisions on-farm, which has benefits for the entire industry.’’

The AgSkilled Advanced Spray Application Training courses will be held at:

■Deniliquin: workshop, May 22; workplace visits, May 23 to 25.

■Finley: workshop, May 29; workplace visits, May 30 to June 1.

■Jerilderie: workshop, June 5; workplace visits, June 6 to 8.

■Holbrook: workshop, June 12; workplace visits, June 13 to 15.

■Oaklands: workshop, June 19; workplace visits, June 20 to 22.

■Griffith: workshop, June 26; workplace visits, June 27 to 29.

■Leeton: workshop, July 3; workplace visits, July 4 to 6.

They will also be held at Harden, Forbes and Grenfell.

■To register your interest, phone: (02) 6345 5818 or 0437 455 818 or email craig.day@bigpond.com

■For more information on the advanced chemical spray application training, visit: www.agskilled.org.au