One of the watercourses bordering Jim Reeve’s farm. ...from previous page
With the farm’s close proximity to the two rivers, Mr Reeve said that he has had a long interest in water quality and originally chaired the Voluntary Initiative in the early 1990s. “I can see drastic action being taken by the regulators if my, and other farmers’ chemicals get into the water, and if it’s costing Severn Trent a lot of money to get them out again, then something will have to give. “It’s in our interest to keep the water clean and maintain the chemical portfolio,” he added. As well as taking note of pesticide stewardship advice relating to dose rates and timing criteria, he believes that simple measures go a long way. “Just by altering the tramlines so they go across the slope has reduced water
run off and soil movement. “We have 6m buffer strips bordering the rivers and, in places, game cover crops on the floodplain alongside – it’s a physical barrier between the sprayer in the field and the water,” he stressed. “Stopping point source contamination is critical and simple changes cost nothing,” he added. Mr Reeve also suggested that soil health was key to improving its structure and help reduce runoff; cover crops are playing their part as is a FYM/straw swap deal he has with a local livestock producer to replensish soils each year with organic manure. In addition, and with the help
What are Drinking Water Safeguard Zones ? • • • • •
Catchment areas that influence the water quality at drinking water abstractions which are at risk of failing the drinking water protection objectives Non-statutory Safeguard Zones are where action to address water contamination will be targeted, so that extra treatment by water companies can be avoided. Safeguard Zones are one of the main tools for delivering the drinking water protection objectives of the Water Framework Directive New Safeguard zones are added by the Environment Agency as required where new risks are identified Are you in a Safegauard Zone? www.wiyby.co.uk
of a £10,000 grant from Natural England, Mr Reeve has recently invested in a new sprayer filling and washdown unit. A biofiltre is also being constructed to turn
waste liquid into clean water. “On this farm I want to protect the rivers, but I can see this kind of facility becoming compulsory one day,” he concluded. ■
In addition to a 6m buffer strip, Jim Reeve grew game cover on this floodplain, acting as a barrier between the river (right) and the crop.
Metazachlor Matters stewardship guidelines • Dose 750g ai/ha • No drains, then no timing •
restrictions Drained fields, including temporary, aim for 1st October. Applications after this can be made up to 15th October as long as soil and seedbed conditions are good and drains are not flowing Drained fields in Drinking Water Safeguard Zones cut off 1st October
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August 2016 www.farmersguide.co.uk 15
Published on Aug 4, 2016