6 Oct 2010

Spray drift complaint spike 'due to more awareness'

9:12 am on 6 October 2010

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council says a spike in the number of spray drift complaints on kiwifruit orchards this season is largely due to raised public awareness about the complaints procedure.

Hydrogen cyanamide is sprayed on kiwifruit vines to promote bud break, ensure earlier and shorter flowering and more flowers.

The regional council has received 40 complaints about spray drift on kiwifruit vines this year, more than double the number received last year.

The council says compliance by growers and spraying contractors has actually improved.

NZ Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated president Peter Ombler says the increase in complaints is misleading because the industry has done a lot of work this year to raise awareness about spraying and best practices.

He says the kiwifruit industry will look to build on the progress it has made this year in its spraying compliance.