Farm to Tap scheme launches to support improved water quality

Severn Trent has launched its Farm to Tap scheme, offering farmers financial rewards and support for reducing levels of metaldehyde in their water sources.

Farmers in a ‘Drinking Water Safeguard Zone’, or in the Severn Trent priority catchments, are eligible to sign up to the scheme, which offers up to £8 per hectare for reducing metaldehyde levels found in local surface water sources.

Severn Trent catchment management and biodiversity lead, Dr Jodie Rettino explains why eligible farmers should sign up. “Metaldehyde is extremely difficult to remove from water once it’s there, and the cost to do so is significant. Metaldehyde is a vital product for slug control on farms, yet it could be banned if efforts aren’t made to reduce the risk of the active substance reaching water courses.

“To prevent this, we need to work with farmers at the source and support them in reducing metaldehyde use. One way is by switching to ferric phosphate, which is where signing up to Farm to Tap can help by providing the support, resources and advice farmers need to make that switch.

Alongside the financial support, every farmer that signs up will be assisted by their local Severn Trent Agricultural Advisors – experts who will work with them to develop the best solutions for their farm.

Additional bonuses are available and every farmer that successfully registers before 31 August will be eligible for a £25 early bird bonus.

“At Severn Trent, we have an ambition to be environmental leaders and find sustainable solutions to water source issues. If we solve these issues at source, rather than putting in expensive and environmentally damaging new treatment, we can ultimately deliver a sustainable solution that is cheaper for all our customers,” concludes Dr Rettino.

To find out the full terms and conditions of the scheme, and to sign up to Farm to Tap, farmers should contact their local Agricultural Advisor or email farming4water@severntrent.co.uk

 

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About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.