Spraying techniques stem runoff into Great Barrier Reef

New weed control techniques developed for sugarcane crops in Queensland could reduce herbicide runoffs into the Great Barrier Reef by 90%.

After testing shielded herbicide sprayers and restricting their application to only raised beds of sugarcane plantation, researchers greatly reduced the flow of herbicides into surrounding waterways.

Common practice in weed control includes broad spraying plantations, using boom sprayers loaded with PSII herbicides, into both raised beds and furrows that flow into irrigation channels.

The new techniques limit the amount of herbicides that leak into irrigation channels, keeping the chemicals from flowing off-site.

Herbicides are known to cause damage to coastal seagrass and eventually reef ecosystems.

Read more at CSIRO