Stewardship key to future availability of pesticides

Eight water companies will come together again at this year’s Cereals Event to reiterate the important role stewardship plays in preserving the future availability of pesticides.

Now in its fifth year, Dr Dinah Hillier, catchment control manager at Thames Water, explains more about the Water UK stand at this year’s event.

“We first came together as a group in 2013 when metaldehyde was becoming more frequently detected in raw surface water.

“The active ingredient is difficult to remove from water, and treatment costs are expensive, so we wanted to work with the agricultural industry to raise awareness and highlight ways to reduce pesticides reaching watercourses,” she says.

“With support from the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG), we set up a ‘one stop shop’ for farmers, spray operators and agronomists.

“We believe that on-going collaboration with the sector is key to reducing the risk of water supplies breaching statutory water quality standards, while protecting the availability of crop protection products.”

This year’s stand will see representatives from eight water companies coming together with the MSG and the Voluntary Initiative (VI) OSR Herbicides? Think Water stewardship campaign.

“A visit to the Water UK stand is a chance to speak directly with water companies and understand more about the issues they’re facing, as well as how they’re working closely with farmers in their water catchments,” explains Dr Hillier.

The stand will also offer the opportunity to gain BASIS and/or NRoSO points by following this year’s ‘Slug Trail’, which will be running between the Water UK and De Sangosse stands.

The trail requires participants to answer questions to update their knowledge of slug pellet stewardship practices.

Dinah explains that at key times throughout the two-day event, there will also be an opportunity to listen to a ‘Calibration Tech Talk’, presented by representatives from SCS Spreader and Sprayer Ltd.

“Calibration of slug pellet applicators is a key step in helping to reducing the risk of pellets reaching watercourses and we hope the practical advice provided in the session will help people reassess their own protocols.”

Water UK can be found at stand 338 at Cereals on June 13 and 14.

 

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About The Author

John Swire - 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.