Agrochemical Updates, eBulletin

Vineyard sprays – clarifying label directions

Since 2010, label changes have been introduced by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) for vineyard spray products, with the aim of reducing the risk of spray drift. Some of the new directions included on labels have caused confusion for vineyard operators. This eBulletin aims to clarify the new label directions, and assist the Australian wine industry in applying best practice spray techniques and record-keeping.

Common label instructions are listed below, with clarifying comments shown in italics.

Spray drift restraints on new labels:

  • DO NOT apply with spray droplets smaller than a MEDIUM spray droplet size category according to nozzle manufacturer specifications that refer to the ASAE S572 Standard or the British Crop Production Council (BCPG) Guideline.

    This is not applicable in orchard/vineyard situations. Labels in future will carry the comment ‘Except when applying with orchard/vineyard airblast equipment’. ‘Airblast equipment’ refers to ground operated equipment used in orchards and vineyards for canopy sprays.

  • DO NOT apply when wind speed is less than 3 or more than 20 kilometres per hour as measured at the application site.

    A minimum speed of 3 km/hr is required because times of no wind (essentially below 3 km/hr) often precede or accompany periods of highly stable air and surface temperature inversion conditions both of which can greatly increase spray drift risk. Moreover, when wind resumes after periods of calm, its direction is not predictable. Spraying only when there is at least some wind ensures that wind direction is known (so that drift onto sensitive areas can be avoided) and greatly reduces the likelihood of surface temperature inversions forming during or shortly after application.

    Further information can be obtained from the APVMA here:

  • DO NOT apply in vineyards when the wind speed is less than 3 or more than 20 kilometres per hour as measured 15 metres outside of the vineyard on the upwind side.

    It may not be practical or legal to measure wind speed beyond the vineyard boundary. The intention is that wind speed (and direction) is measured without interference from the vines and upwind of the vineyard. When safe and practical, wind speed should be measured 15 metres upwind.

  • DO NOT direct the spray above vines during airblast applications.

    ‘Airblast’ refers to equipment used for canopy sprays in orchards and vineyards.

  • TURN OFF outward pointing nozzles at row ends and outer rows during airblast applications.

    ‘Airblast’ refers to equipment used for canopy sprays in orchards and vineyards.

  • DO NOT apply during surface temperature inversion conditions at the application site.

    The APVMA factsheet for recognising temperature inversion conditions can be found here:

    Further information from the Bureau of Meteorology can be found here:

Additional directions on new labels

New labels also contain instructions about the spray records that must be kept.

Users of this product MUST make an accurate written record of the details of each spray application within 24 hours following application and KEEP this record for a minimum of 2 years. The spray application details that must be recorded are:

  1. date with start and finish times of application;
  2. location address and paddock/s sprayed;
  3. full name of this product;
  4. amount of product used per hectare and number of hectares applied to;
  5. crop/situation and weed/pest;
  6. wind speed and direction during application;

    At a minimum, wind speed and direction should be measured and recorded at the beginning of spraying and again when any change in conditions is observed during spray operations. Wind speed is measured by an anemometer. The measurement should be upwind of any interference or two metres above the canopy. Systems that measure wind speed and direction and relay that information to operators or issue warnings when cut-off levels (i.e. wind speed exceeds 20km/hr) are reached are available but not compulsory.

  7. air temperature and relative humidity during application;

    At a minimum, air temperature and relative humidity should be measured at the beginning of spraying and again if any change in conditions is observed during spray operations.

  8. nozzle brand, type, spray angle, nozzle capacity and spray system pressure measured during application;

    Where applicable, record details about the nozzles used as listed. Spray angle refers to the angle of the spray sheet generated by the nozzle. For example, a flat fan nozzle may have a 110° spray sheet.

  9. name and address of person applying this product. (Additional record details may be required by the state or territory where this product is used.)

Spray record sheet

The AWRI in conjunction with industry has developed a spray diary template and set of terminology for growers who do not have a spray diary provided by a winery or grape purchaser. The diary captures the information listed for points 1-9 above, except for point number 8. Information about nozzles and operating pressures should instead be captured in spray cart calibration records.

Further assistance The AWRI offers a free and confidential help desk service on technical issues, to all Australian grapegrowers and wine producers. Should you require further assistance, please call the AWRI’s help desk on 08 8313 6600 or email: