Arable farmers in Severn Trent priority catchments can sign up to the 2019 Farm to Tap scheme, which offers rewards of up to £5 per hectare for reducing metaldehyde levels in local water courses.
Given that metaldehyde will be withdrawn from use by the end of June 2020, Laura Flower, Severn Trent catchment management scientist, explains that this is the last chance for farmers to receive financial rewards for metaldehyde reduction.
“Metaldehyde is extremely difficult and costly to remove from water, so it’s important for us to collaborate with farmers to help prevent this issue at source,” she says.
“Signing up to Farm to Tap will not only provide financial support to farmers. Successful applicants will be assigned an expert agricultural adviser, who will provide advice and resources to develop the best solution for each holding.
“To encourage all farmers in the area to join in with the effort to protect water, we’re offering a £100 bonus to those in catchments that have no metaldehyde exceedances over the drinking water standard of 0.1ppb during the period of testing,” says Laura.
Despite the upcoming withdrawal of metaldehyde, Severn Trent is committed to working in partnership with farmers, by continuing with Farm to Tap after the 2019 season. Future years are likely to focus on other pesticides that impact water quality.
To find out if you’re eligible and for further information or to sign up, please visit www.stwater.co.uk/farmtotap/or contact your local Severn Trent agricultural adviser.