Affinity Water to unveil latest innovations at Groundswell 2024

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Affinity Water will use Groundswell 2024 to showcase its latest on-farm field trial results and ongoing catchment schemes, highlighting its innovative approaches to sustainable farming and water management.

This will include findings from their ongoing, farmer led trials, conducted in collaboration with researchers from across the UK such as ADAS and Dewar Crop Protection.

Danny Coffey, catchment manager at Affinity Water, emphasises the importance of seeking robust trials data and viable solutions which benefit both crop production and the environment, as well as creating strong partnerships between farmers and water company catchment teams.

“We’ve been funding and trialling cover crops in our catchments for seven years now, with a particular focus on reducing nitrate leaching and groundwater protection,” Mr Coffey says.

“Since 2020 we have funded over 7,000 hectares of cover and companion crops across priority areas to aid soil health, structure and prevent nutrient and pesticide losses to groundwater and surface water.

“Using companion crops in oilseed rape, our data suggests this can mitigate herbicide losses which can risk water treatment processes and we have promising results for companion species reducing cabbage stem flea beetle damage.

“It is important to consider both crops and water and we look forward to sharing the latest findings at this year’s Groundswell,” he says.

Th Affinity Water stand will host representatives from Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, University of Reading and Affinity Water’s biodiversity and river restoration teams.

Mr Coffey adds: “Groundswell is a fantastic event for knowledge exchange and the exploration of cutting-edge regenerative agriculture practices.

“It allows us to discuss our catchment management schemes with local farmers and ensure they are farmer led.

“That way, we can develop our schemes and fund agricultural practices which work for farm businesses and benefit both water quality and soil health.

“Groundswell provides us with the opportunity to learn more about regenerative agriculture, promoting soil health and creating more resilient catchments.

“There is a lot asked of farmers now.  Not only to produce our food, but also to improve biodiversity, sequester carbon and protect resources. As a water company, we can benefit from innovative and sustainable solutions farmers are practicing across priority catchments and therefore it is only right we seek to support farmers on this journey and support farm businesses who wish to try new solutions.”

Visitors to the stand can also receive a free reusable water bottle and attend rainfall simulator and soil carbon scanner demonstrations happening next to the stand each day.

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