Fertiliser regulation in Victoria
|Single superphosphate fertiliser|
The main risk is from the heavy metal contaminants, cadmium, mercury and lead, present in some fertilisers. Continued use of fertilisers containing high levels of these contaminants in agricultural situations may lead to the accumulation of these contaminants in soils. It may also lead to residue levels in plant and animal products that are above Australian or international standards.
The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) (Fertilisers) Regulations 2005 manage these risks by:
- setting maximum permissible concentrations of cadmium, mercury and lead contaminants in fertilisers
- prescribing the warning statements fertiliser products must carry if certain contaminants exceed prescribed levels
- requiring product descriptions to be provided to purchasers as attached labels or advice notes
- setting minimum requirements for product descriptions to be supplied via product labels or advice notes.
DPI surveys fertiliser products to monitor compliance with the regulations. Recent fertiliser survey reports are available on the chemical use publications page.
Through the regulation of fertiliser content and labelling, Victoria contributes to national strategies such as Australian Cadmium Minimisation Strategy and the development of a national approach to fertiliser regulation.
The Australian Cadmium Minimisation Strategy website includes publications on managing cadmium minimisation in livestock and crops.
Soils and soil health
General information on soils and soil health is available at DPI Victorian Resources Online (Soil).
Fungicide Treatment of Fertilisers
Treating fertilisers with fungicides is an efficient way of protecting crops from fungal diseases. There are a range of registered products containing the active ingredients, flutriafol or triadimefon that can be mixed with fertilisers to treat fungal disease in range of broadacre situations.
As with all agricultural chemicals, fungicides must be used in accordance with the product's label directions. In situations where commercial fertiliser distributors are treating fertilisers with a fungicide, the business must hold a Commercial Operator Licence (COL), issued by DPI.
Businesses that apply agricultural chemicals to fertilisers need to ensure that equipment used to handle treated fertiliser (i.e. conveyors, augers, truck trailers, field bins) is thoroughly decontaminated to minimise the risk of residues being passed on to subsequent commodities (e.g. grain).