Farmers, agronomists and operators need to knowwhere their land drains to, if they want to continue to use pesticides tocontrol weeds and slugs in winter cereals and oilseed rape, advises the VI.
Oilseed rape herbicides and metaldehyde slugpellets are regularly detected in drinking water sources at levels whichrequire extra treatment by water companies. Not every field drains to adrinking water source but pesticide use in those that do really matters,explains the VIs Patrick Goldsworthy.
The first step for farmers and growers is to findout whether any of the land they manage is in a Drinking Water Safeguard Zoneand if there are any pesticide issues in that Safeguard Zone. The best way to dothis is to visit the EAs Whats in Your Backyard website (www.wiyby.co.uk)and do a post code search for their land. If the farm is in a Safeguard Zoneand there are concerns about pesticide issues then they should discuss withtheir agronomist what they can do to help reduce the risk of any pesticidesthey use reaching water, be that surface or ground water.
Full details on how to use WIYBY can be found on inan H2OK? Briefing on WIYBY which can be found on The Voluntary Initiativewebsite www.voluntaryinitiative.org.uk