Published Tuesday, 21st June 2016 in SAC Consulting news
Farmers and land managers are being welcomed to a new show attraction this year.
With special attention being paid to the rules surrounding water pollution a smart blue marquee will be the place to catch up on the latest information and tips about farming and water in Scotland.
Funded by Scottish Government and staffed by specialists from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and SEPA (the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) the new venue is offering information and guidance on how to avoid falling foul of increasingly strict regulation.
“You can’t produce crops or livestock without water, but if care isn’t taken farming activity can cause pollution, so it’s in everyone’s best interests to know how to avoid it,” explains Senior SAC Consultant Rebecca Audsley. “On the new show stand we have information on the regulations (General Binding Rules) governing pollution, its avoidance and tips on smart technologies that help supply cattle drinking water.”
While the occasional accidental spillage of slurry, oil or silage effluent into a watercourse can be serious, by far the most common problem is diffuse pollution where, for example, heavy rain washes muck from the fields into drainage ditches or pesticide sprays drift into burns. On the blue Farming and Water Scotland stand there is advice on practical management techniques to avoid these problems.
More information can be found at www.farmingandwaterscotland.org, (or follow the initiative on Facebook and Twitter).
“The whole issue of water quality is being addressed across entire river catchments, not individual burns or watercourses,” comments Rebecca. “This year there will be a number catchments where diffuse pollution will be a special priority for SEPA staff. They will be visiting farm businesses to carry out audits of how well the rules are being complied with. There is a suggestion that spot fines may eventually be introduced for failing to comply with diffuse pollution regulations.”
On the new blue stand is a Papa Pump demonstration rig used to supply field troughs and a pasture pump so stock don’t drink direct from burns or rivers. Farmers can see the pumps working and hear about some of the findings from an alternative watering trial carried out on three Scottish farms. Less complicated but just as useful are the “Mind the Gap” tractor stickers reminding sprayer or slurry spreader operators to ensure they keep the correct distance for the water's edge.
“It’s not rocket science,” says Rebecca Audsley. “If the nutrients in slurry or expensive pesticides are being washed into the sea it’s a waste as well as a cost to the farming business. A lot of what we are talking about at the shows involves a win for the farmer, a win for the environment and a win for other water users. We are welcoming everyone in for a chat.”
The Blue “Farming & Water Scotland Stand will be at the following forthcoming events:
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