Rice Crop Protection

Managing Ducks

Following legislative changes, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Game Licensing Unit is now responsible for the management of native game birds in NSW. The former game bird program administered by the Office of Environment and Heritage, National Parks and Wildlife Service has now closed.

The DPI Native Game Bird Management Program continues to allow landholders to sustainably manage native game birds on agricultural lands in NSW. Several important changes benchmark the hunting of native game birds in NSW whilst continuing to assist landholders.

Owners or occupiers can apply for a Native Game Bird Management (Owner/Occupier) Licence for sustainable agricultural management purposes only. This means the licence can only be issued to manage native game birds on agricultural lands.

More information about the Native Game Bird Management Program can be found on the NSW DPI website.

DPI factsheet - Information for Landholders

DPI factsheet - Native Game Bird Management in NSW 

 

Summary of forms required by landholders

Form

Purpose

Form GB-B Application for a Native Game Bird Management Licence (Owner/Occupier)

Application process to allow landholders to legally have native game birds removed from their properties. Number and type of native game birds to be nominated.

Form GB-Q Property quota allocation increase request

Application process required when an original property quota has been exhausted.

Form GB-W – Expression of Interest: Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT)

EOI to sit a WIT only for landholders, members of their household or their employees who wish to remove ducks themselves as part of this program.

Form B7 – Application for a NSW General Game Hunting Licence (Native Game Bird Management Licence Holder)

Game hunting licence application required only for landholders, members of their household or their employees who wish to remove ducks themselves as part of this program.

The normal fees associated with the WIT and a game hunting licence will be waived for landholders, members of their household and employees participating in this program.

 
Landholder register for licensed hunters

Landholders who want to be contacted by licensed hunters must authorise their listing on the Native Game Bird Landholder Register.

Landholders can use Form GB-L - Native Game Bird Management Licence - Landholder Register to authorise the release of their name, property information and contact details on the Native Game Bird Landholder Register.

The Native Game Bird Support Officer will maintain the register which will only be available to licensed hunters who have updated their licence for native game birds.

Listings on the Native Game Bird Landholder Register are voluntary only.

 

For more information about the Native Game Bird Management Program, contact the Game Licensing Unit.

 

Managing Other Native Animals

If native animals are shown to be a threat to human safety, damaging property and/or causing economic hardship the NPWS may issue a licence under the National Parks and Wildlife Act to the owner or occupier of a property, or another person authorised under the Occupier’s licence, to harm the native animals responsible. This may include native bird species that damage rice crops such as black-tailed native hens. Bald coots (purple swamphen), cockatoos and galahs are unprotected species in the rice growing region of the Riverina.

For more information, visit the Office of Environment and Heritage website.

 

NSW DPI Rice Crop Protection Guide

High-yielding profitable rice crops require good weed and pest control. The NSW DPI publish a guide to the pesticides that are approved for the control of weeds and invertebrate pests in rice in each year.

The 2013 Rice Crop Protection Guide can be downloaded here.

  

Managing Spray Drift

With the increased presence of susceptible cotton crops being grown in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys, rice growers need to be aware of the legal responsibilities spray applicators must consider when assessing whether to spray at any given time.

Under the NSW Pesticides Act 1999, it is an offence to cause off-target damage to your neighbours’ crops.

Chemical users spraying on or around rice crops need to be aware of the location of susceptible crops in their area to avoid committing an offence.  For cotton plantings, Cotton Australia maintains a cotton map to assist neighbouring landholders and spray applicators to manage their spray drift risk: http://www.cottonmap.com.au

While it is not a legal requirement for rice growers to notify neighbours with susceptible crops of their intention to spray, it is good practice for chemical users to communicate with neighbours about chemical spaying practices. Open communication enables users to understand where sensitive crops are located in their vicinity, helping to avoid off-target damage and minimise misunderstandings or unnecessary conflicts.

Neighbours with susceptible crops such as cotton also typically use chemicals that can harm rice crops, so the legal obligation to avoid off-target damage and the importance of open communication works both ways. 

Monitoring weather conditions and spray rigs during application can help avoid off-target damage, as well as potentially providing a defense of due diligence should something unforeseen happen and damage occurs.

Records of chemical applications are required to be kept in accordance with NSW Pesticide Regulation 2009. As well as being a legal requirement, recording pesticide helps spray applicators to refute incorrect accusations of off-target damage.

More information

GRDC has released a fact sheet containing useful information on managing spray drift: http://www.grdc.com.au/uploads/documents/GRDC_FS_Spray.pdf