Published on 16/05/2022

Novachem editor Peter Holden says to his knowledge the Novachem manual is unique to New Zealand.
“It is the culmination of years of meticulous compilation, with ongoing updates and refinement. It would be unimaginable to build something like this from scratch now.”
The manual went online a few years ago, but there is still significant and consistent demand for the traditional printed manual. “Many people still like to reach for a book rather than log onto a PC or tablet,” Peters says.
Anyone who buys a printed version of the manual receives a year’s free subscription to the online version.
The online Novachem manual is continually updated as product information changes and it now provides the basis for the new printed version.
Peter says that before a new manual is published agrichemical suppliers proof their own data on the Novachem website to ensure their listings are correct. “Because we continually monitor and make changes to the online manual between publications, supplier edits are generally relatively minimal,” Peter says, “which is as it should be.”
Online listings include links to the supplier’s documentation. This includes the Label, Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and Haznote for each product. The safety documentation has become increasingly important for anyone who stores, uses or transports agrichemicals.
“For those handling multiple products, having all your product information available via one website rather than trawling multiple supplier websites makes the Novachem website a useful one-stop-shop,” Peter says. “We also now clearly display HSR numbers for each product listed online so it is easy to complete a hazardous substances inventory for storage facilities.”
Another recent change Peter initiated with both the printed manual and the online version is the placement of common regulatory statements and comprehensive safety instructions in a separate sub-section.
This means that those simply seeking information on product suitability can quickly check for weeds/pests controlled by crop, use rates and other information.  All-important regulatory and safety information is also easily sourced in its own section when required.
Links in the Novachem website can also direct users to specialist information in other industry websites. These include topics like handlers’ certification and qualification requirements, minimum residue limits (MRLs) and resistance management.
These are very important considerations for agrichemical users and information is often being updated, so it is good for our subscribers to be able to link to live sources.
Hazard codes are another recent area of change because New Zealand is adopting anew globally recognised standard. Agrichemical suppliers are currently transitioning their label and safety documentation to the new hazard classifications.
The latest manual includes correlation tables that show both the old and new classifications.
Do you have a product on hand that is no longer commercially available and want to gain more information?
While no longer displayed as a ‘live’ listing, if you type the name of a discontinued product into the Novachem search engine you can still view information on a large number of discontinued products. Many people value this service, especially if product labels have become damaged or unreadable.
“Sourcing old labels is a frequent request,” Peter says. “Recently discontinued products can often still be used, but handlers are always encouraged to contact the product supplier regarding a course of action for either continued use or disposal.”
Novachem strives to provide agrichemical handlers with all the information they need on a day-to-day basis, but Peter is always receptive to feedback.
He encourages you to get in contact if you have any ideas for improvement. Email him on

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