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  • Miscellaneous Publication 2/2002 ISSN 1326-4168

    April2002

    ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR

    THE NURSERY INDUSTRY

    In conjunction with: Canning Catchment Coordinating Group

    THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN DEVELOPED TO COMPLEMENT THE BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR THE NURSERY INDUSTRY

    Water and Rivers Commission

  • ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR THE NURSERY INDUSTRY

    Prepared by:

    The Centre of Excellence in Cleaner Production at Curtin University in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture WA, Water and Rivers Commission and

    Nursery and Garden Industry WA

    In conjunction with: Canning Catchment Coordinating Group

    IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

    The Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Agriculture and the State of Western Australia accept no liability whatsoever by reason of negligence or otherwise arising from use or release of this information or any part of it.

    Water and Rivers Commission

  • FOREWORD

    I am pleased to say that the nursery and garden industry in Western Australia has a commitment to environmental responsibilities which pre-dates the production of the environmental best practice guidelines.

    The two most important environmental issues relating to nurseries are water use and water pollution.

    Humans, animals and plants (including natural environments) have a right to reasonable quantities of usable water. Licensing regulations seek to balance these needs and penalise those wasting or polluting water by any means, accidental or deliberate.

    Scientific analysis shows that the nursery industry impacts upon water quality through nutrient and pesticide run-off. Energy costs are significant in our industry especially in relation to irrigation through pumping costs. Air pollution and disposal, of organic and inorganic waste are also part of the equation.

    Finally the nursery industry plays a key role in providing plants to regenerate our land, produce healthy quality food and relaxation for the people of Western Australia .

    I commend the content of the Environmental Management Best Practice Guidelines and thank the contributors. I urge all members of the nursery industry to adopt environmental best practices.

    Joanne Harris PRESIDENT NURSERY AND GARDEN INDUSTRY OF WESTERN Australia

    ________________________________

    The Canning Catchment Coordinating Group is a community group dealing with Natural Resource Management issues on the length of the Canning River System. One of our goals is to work with industry groups to improve the environment for the benefit of future generations. This set of guidelines is a tool to allow nursery operators to manage their enterprises to the highest levels.

    The willingness of the Nursery and Garden Industries, Department of Agriculture and Water and Rivers Commission to work together on developing these guidelines augers well for their adoption. We look forward to the use of these guidelines in the nursery industry.

    Pat Hart CHAIRPERSON CANNING CATCHMENT COORDINATING GROUP

    ________________________________

    The environmental management best practice guidelines for the nursery industry are the result of a team approach by agencies and with the full involvement of the nursery industry. The Department of Agriculture is pleased to be able to coordinate and fund this activity.

    The initiative shown by the Canning Catchment Coordinating Group in bringing together the nursery industry, the Department of Agriculture, the Water and Rivers Commission and the Curtin University of Technology is commendable.

    The guidelines can be used by members of both the wholesale and retail sectors of the nursery industry to identify areas of their enterprise that could be improved. The topics covered include nutrient management, chemical use, water use and irrigation efficiency and areas of pollution control.

    Adopting these and other best practices will go a long way to reducing off-site impacts and improve enterprise efficiency and profits.

    Terry Hill PROGRAM MANAGER HORTICULTURE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

  • CONTENTS

    Page

    Introduction ................................................................................................................. 1 Purpose and scope ................................................................................................ 1 Content and use of the guidelines ........................................................................ 1 Collaboration, acknowldgements and support ..................................................... 1 Contacts and comments ....................................................................................... 2

    Guidance Note 1. Business benefits of Environmental Management ..................... 3 Pressures for improved environmental performance ........................................... 3 Benefits of improvement ..................................................................................... 4 Future challenges and opportunities .................................................................... 4

    Guidance Note 2. Implementing Environmental Management .............................. 6 Environmental Management for nurseries ........................................................... 6 Significant environmental impacts issues and risks ............................................ 7 Environmental Management checklist ................................................................ 9

    Guidance Note 3. Strategies for water efficiency and reducing water pollution ... 11 1. Planning ................................................................................................... 11 2. Improve delivery of water and fertiliser to pots ............................................. 11 3. Improve the retention of water and fertiliser in the growing medium ............................................................................................. 12 4. Investigate recycling run-off ........................................................................... 12 5. Prevent run-off of other contaminants ............................................................ 13 Annex I to Guidance Note 3. Siting of nurseries in relation to sensitive water resources .............................. 14 Annex II to Guidance Note 3. Conceptual wastewater recycle system for nurseries ........................................ 16

    Guidance Note 4. Optimising the irrigation system ................................................. 17 1. Selecting the optimal irrigation system .......................................................... 17 2. Requirements for efficient operation .............................................................. 18

    Top watering systems ...................................................................................... 18 Bottom watering .............................................................................................. 19

    3. Irrigation control .............................................................................................. 20

    Annex to Guidance Note 4: Advantages and disadvantages of irrigation system types ................................................................................... 21

    Guidance Note 5. Fertiliser and potting media management................................... 23 Basic steps for good fertiliser management in nurseries ..................................... 23 Explanation 1: Organic fertilisers .................................................................... 24 Explanation 2: Use split applications ............................................................... 24 Explanation 3: Potting media storage and handling ........................................ 24 Explanation 4: Recommended nutrient and total salt levels for soluble fertiliser

    applications .............................................................................. 24 Guidance Note 6: Pesticide management ........................................................... 26

    1. Pest control strategy ................................................................................... 26 2. Pesticide management practices ................................................................. 27

    Plan and prepare for pesticide use .............................................................. 27 Take precautions when mixing pesticides and filling equipment .............. 27 Take precautions in application .................................................................. 28

  • ii

    Control pesticide drift ................................................................................. 28

    Annex to Guidance Note 6: Selection of pesticides and assessing risks ................................................. 29

    Guidance Note 7: Che micals storage and handling .......................................... 31 1. Storage ................................................................................................... 31 2. Preparation areas ........................................................................................ 31 3. Spill response ............................................................................................. 32 4. Waste disposal ............................................................................................ 33

    Guidance Note 8: Waste management - general .............................................. 34 1. Hazardous waste ......................................................................................... 34

    Disposal of pestic

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