CORRECT SOIL management is key to preventing pesticides and sediment enter water courses this autumn, growers have been reminded.

Every year, around 1cm of arable topsoil containing nutrients and pesticides is lost in England and Wales and it can all potentially end up in water, warned the Soil Management Initiative’s Vic Jordan.

“We don’t think people fully realise the full implications of what cultivations can do.”

To help raise awareness of the dangers and share best practice, detailed notes and a Powerpoint presentation are being sent to distributors and independent agronomists, added Voluntary Initiative manager, Patrick Goldsworthy.

“Some people forget, perhaps, that tramlines make wonderful drains,” he said.

The notes and presentation cover practical tips on reducing erosion on slopes and advice on when and when not to spray.

They also highlight the importance of following spray application Decision Trees, especially if rain is predicted or soils are near field capacity and drains are likely to flow.

A copy of the presentation can be downloaded from the library section of the VI website, www.voluntaryinitiative.org.uk

For practical advice on managing soils to reduce the threat of pesticide and sediment pollution, see this week’s FARMERS WEEKLY magazine (30 September 2005).