Record keeping - agricultural chemicals
There are many good reasons for keeping chemical use records. Whilst being a legal requirement in Victoria to keep certain chemical use records, records capture useful data that can be used to assist chemical users with their business and to demonstrate that due care is taken when applying chemicals.
Agricultural chemical records
It is a legal requirement to make specific records for all agricultural chemicals used in Victoria within 48 hours of the use, and keep these records for a period of two years.
The records must be made and kept for agricultural chemicals used are:
- the product trade name
- the date the product was used
- the application rate of the product
- the crop/commodity that was treated or the situation in which the product was applied
- the extent of use (the area of land treated, or the volume of water treated, or the volume of stored commodity treated, or the weight of the commodity treated)
- the location where the product was used
- the name and address of the applicator/supervisor, and
- the name and address of the person for whom the application was carried out.
Where a product is being sprayed outdoors (excludes hand-held devices, such as small portable sprayers that can be carried by a person and which are operated manually), the following record must also be made:
- the wind speed and direction at the time of application.
If using poison baits intended for pest animal control (e.g. 1080, PAPP or Pindone baits), the two additional records required are:
- the date the baiting period began, and
- the date the baiting period ended.
If you use a household or home garden product, you are exempt from these requirements. Likewise, if you are licensed to use agricultural chemical products under Part 7, Division 2 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (formerly section 108C of the Health Act 1958) , and use these products in grounds associated with a building that is not connected with primary production or agricultural commodities, you are also exempt.
Record keeping format
You may keep your records in a format that suits you (e.g. hand written, computer generated, using record books or as part of a quality assurance program). The only requirement is that they contain all the required information, are clear, accurate and must be readily available to a DEDJTR authorised officer upon request.
Sample record keeping templates available below.
Record keeping template: Agricultural chemical use
Record keeping template: Poison baits used for pest animal control
Record keeping template: Treatment of bees or beekeeping equipment
Benefits of record keeping
Keeping records is not just a matter of complying with the law. There have been many instances where information contained in a chemical user's spray record has provided information to refute spurious allegations made by another person (e.g. spray drift).
An accurate record made when using a chemical product is important. Records demonstrate that withholding periods (WHPs), application rates and wind speeds have been checked prior to chemical application, and that due care has been taken when applying chemical products.
Chemical use records can also be used to track chemical use patterns and assist with resistance management. If follow up inspections are made, comments can provide local information on the effectiveness of particular chemicals against particular pests.
Making an accurate record of chemical use takes only a minute or so, and is good insurance should things go wrong later on. For these reasons and more, there is logic in keeping chemical use records for all chemicals used.