Volume 16 Part 1 Article 95: Survey of Pesticide Use in the Australian Mushroom Industry

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 95
Year 2004
Title: Survey of Pesticide Use in the Australian Mushroom Industry
Authors: J. Allan and A. Clift


In 2001, a telephone survey of ~50% of the mushroom growers was undertaken in an effort to develop an informed statement of pesticide use and pest and disease management in the Australian mushroom industry. Quantitative and qualitative information was collected. Questions on pesticides used, rates, use patterns, peat coverage, occupational health and safety issues, knowledge on pests and diseases and effective pesticide usage were explored. Because interviewers were knowledgeable about the topic, they could probe further and provide feedback on issues raised. Practices that were identified to put the industry at risk (e.g., illegal use of pesticides, unsafe chemical handling, etc.) were dealt with directly during the interview. The approach was to empower the industry and individuals to manage their own affairs. This resulted in individuals participating in a very committed and meaningful way that delivered some very confidential (both knowingly and unknowingly) information. The recommendation for action from the project led to a number of strategic initiatives including: a regular column in the industry journal on topical aspects of pests/disease and pesticides, a Pesticide Research Test Facility at Sydney University to generate data to support pesticide registration and permit applications, an Industry Pest and Disease Management Committee that meets annually to review progress and discuss new issues emerging and a Pest and Disease Management Service incorporating services that growers in this project had identified as being important.

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