26 Jul 2010

Wardens, posties look out for spray drift problems

1:13 pm on 26 July 2010

The kiwifruit industry is appointing 40 wardens to police its growers when they spray crops.

Last year, community groups in the Bay of Plenty protested against the use of sprays on kiwifruit orchards and the industry and spray contractors have been working since to ease their concerns.

Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI) president Peter Ombler says the voluntary wardens will investigate any complaints about spray drift, and Rural Post delivery staff are also being trained to recognise and report issues relating to spraying.

Mr Ombler says yellow warning cones are being trialled in the Bay of Plenty to warn passers-by of spraying in the area and contractors are using nozzles that limit spray drift.

Spraying began on some orchards last week. This time of year growers use the product Hi-cane on kiwifruit vines to promote bud break.