By Terry Tinkess
AgriNews Staff Writer

GUELPH – There is a new initiative this spring, a result of a partnership between multiple farm organizations. The initiative is an awareness campaign entitled “Be Drift Aware.”

Drift is the term that describes the unintentional aerial movement of plant protection products away from the intended target. Drift can impact crop yield, crop quality and input costs. It can also negatively impact neighbouring fields, residences, livestock, and sensitive natural habitats and cause tension with neighbours.

“Each of our organizations has shared best practice resources with our grower members over the years, and now we have pooled that information for easy access in a single location,” said Marty Vermey, senior agronomist with the Grain Farmers of Ontario.

The information for growers and spray operators is available at a new central resource hub The website includes an online quiz and resources organized around three key best practices – “be size aware,” “be height aware,” and “be wind aware.”

“This campaign is an important next step to reach growers with information ranging from spray drift basics to sprayer settings and nozzle selection to truly drop the risk as low as possible,” said Brian Rideout, crop protection chair with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

Anytime someone sprays, there is a possibility of unintended drift. With best practices in place, that risk can possibly be reduced.

“The call to action for this campaign is simple: our partners want to reduce spray drift across Ontario by providing easy access to the information when and where growers and spray operators need it,” said Janice Janiec, farm policy analyst with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA).

The partners in the Be Drift Aware campaign will share spray drift messages and reminders throughout their established communication channels – newsletters, social posts and events – to encourage members to visit the new site to access resources about spray drift.

Be Drift Aware was created by Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Croplife Canada.