Preventing residues

Agricultural enterprises in Western Australia use a wide range of chemicals to protect their yield potential and export opportunities from pests, weeds and diseases.  Chemicals provide many benefits to primary production but must be used responsibly to minimise the adverse effects associated with their use. 

Residues are traces of a chemical or its breakdown products that are in or on an agricultural product after a particular time. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the level of chemical residue in the agricultural produce they purchase. Residues are at an unacceptable levels when they detected above the legally permitted maximum residue limit.

The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia provides information on managing chemical residues.


  • Western Australia has a well-deserved reputation for producing healthy livestock that are free of diseases and residues that could harm human health or damage our markets.

  • Some of the world’s safest meat, milk and fibre products are produced here in Western Australia. WA farmers produce safe food by keeping their livestock free of harmful residues.

  • Some of the world’s safest grains, fruit and vegetable products are produced in Western Australia. WA farmers produce safe food by keeping their products free of harmful residues.

  • Spray drift of phenoxy compounds, and the subsequent damage to susceptible crops grown close by, is a major concern in vineyard and vegetable growing districts.

  • Preventing lead residues in livestock protects human food safety and Western Australia's ongoing access to international markets.

  • The following article provides information on spraying and withholding periods for the Australian plague locust.

  • When using pesticides the importance of producing ‘clean food’ while protecting human health and the environment is paramount.

  • Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is normally produced by bacteria in the rumen of cattle and sheep on well-balanced roughage diets.

  • Producing chickens or eggs on land treated or contaminated with organochlorines (OC) is not recommended for domestic consumption or commercial purposes.

  • The use of spray technology to control weeds, pests and diseases is widespread and is often heralded as the easiest option.

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