StewardshipFirst supporting Australian farmers to be the world’s best

    4 April 2022

    Industry sustainability frameworks are commonplace these days. Unfortunately, they often greenwash more than they provide a genuine path forward to sustainable food systems. The plant science industry recognises its responsibility and has long practiced whole-of-life-cycle product stewardship. Over the next few editions, we’re going to share just what it takes to make truly world leading stewardship through a whole-of-life-cycle approach.

    CropLife and its members make sure processes and practices are in place to ensure that each step of development, production and use of products is responsible and ethical. At its core, StewardshipFirst is a suite of industry-led stewardship initiatives, designed to protect the environment and support users like farmers, environmental land managers and home gardeners.

    Given the unusually wet start to the Australian growing season, farmers face increased threats of pests, weeds and disease. It’s critical to understand how to use pesticides during these times effectively, economically and responsibly.

    Follow the label It may seem obvious, but product labels provide clear user directions for good reason. Industry invests billions of dollars annually in research and development to make sure its products are used safely and effectively. Proper product handling, dosage and application maximises a product’s effectiveness and minimises the risk of exposing people, animals, other crops and native environment to the chemical unintentionally.

    Best practice is the best way

    Following best practice guidelines reduces pest resistance to crucial chemicals. CropLife Australia’s Resistance Management Strategies provide guidance to planning fungicide, herbicide and insecticide use to safeguard the longevity of product effectiveness and crop health. These strategies are informed by the best evidence each year to give farmers confidence that they are effectively managing pests safely and sustainably.

    Manage spray drift

    Careful thought and planning also minimises the risk of off-target chemical movement during product application. SprayBEST and MyAgCHEMuse are application guides that provide up to date advice and tools to help chemical users implement best practice methods to manage spray drift and its impact on neighbouring crops, beneficial insects and the environment. This also ensures that product is applied where needed and not wasted which provides greater economic returns.

    Using the most up-to-date resources in the StewardshipFirst suite makes sure farmers make the most of their land, their chemicals and their bottom dollar. Find out more about what stewardship looks like for the plant science sector in the next edition of CropLinks.

    To read more about the complete StewardshipFirst suite, visit

    Product and technological advancement is an ongoing and reiterative process.

    The StewardshipFirst suite is developed with scientists and technical experts and are continuously reviewed to help producers apply best practice management in line with evolving evidence.


    Read the full CropLinks edition.