A safer way to use herbicides

A safer way to use herbicides

Smart Farmer How To
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Much has been said in regards to Glyphosate about the potential risks to those working in close contact with the herbicide and it's environmental impact.

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SAFE: A large wild tobacco tree injected with Di-Bak G herbicide.

SAFE: A large wild tobacco tree injected with Di-Bak G herbicide.

Much has been said in regards to Glyphosate about the potential risks to those working in close contact with the herbicide and it's environmental impact.

Glyphosate is used in approximately 500 herbicide products to control noxious weeds that impede and impact good land management.

BioHerbicides Australia (BHA) provides biological control methods for weeds but has also developed exciting innovations that allow traditional herbicides to be utilised in a much safer manner, for both the environment and the people reliant on them.

Managing Director of BHA Peter Riikonen said the basis of the company philosophy is to develop new methods to control tree weeds that are economical, environmentally safe and safe for operators.

"We have been progressing the APVMA registration of our bioherbicide products, but we recognised that there was also a need to find alternative applications of our technology that could be delivered by insertion of a pharmaceutical-grade capsule into a tree," Mr Riikonen said.

"We started to evaluate whether a capsule enclosing dry herbicide could control woody and noxious weeds, so we started experimenting with capsules containing Glyphosate and other herbicides, inserting them directly into the trunk of the tree - and the results were excellent."

BHA has developed an applicator with a circular magazine that holds 30 capsules and plugs and is driven by a battery-operated hand drill.

Mr Riikonen said it's a game-changer in application.

"A hole is drilled into the trunk of the woody weed tree, the drill bit retracts, the capsule and plug are then inserted into hole sealing the capsule within the trunk," he said.

"Once that capsule is inserted, it's the last time the chemical has any level of exposure whatsoever to the environment, delivering a precise small dose only to the target tree.

Ovens Landcare Network in northern Victoria has been using the injector for the past five months.

Gayle South, the network's Queensland Fruit Fly and European Wasp project coordinator, said they had made good use of it.

"We have utilised the injector to place Glysophate into rogue fruit trees along roadways," she said.

"These trees harbour Queensland Fruit Fly and killing these trees is very necessary.

"The injector is a brilliant tool which literally removes the need to handle herbicides.

"Our's is available to 23 groups within our network from Bright to Rutherglen and we anticipate it will continue to prove very useful.

"It will play an integral role along our waterways as we endeavour to remove willows and other invasive woody weeds."

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