A NEW initiative aimed at protecting water is being launched by the Voluntary Initiative at Cereals 2004.

H2OK? will provide farmers, operators and other pesticide users with specific information on water protection.

“Our aim will be to explain the problem, highlight the impact and then provide solutions,” said the Crop Protection Association‘s VI manager Patrick Goldsworthy.

As part of the campaign, members of the National Register of Sprayer Operators will receive a special newsletter.

“We have a wealth of information about how to avoid water pollution which includes new lessons coming out of the VI local water catchment projects,” said Mr Goldsworthy.

“Now that we have over 16,000 sprayer operators signed up to NRoSO we have a clear route to get that practical information through to the people doing the job.”

Posters, leaflets and cab cards will draw attention to best practice in the field and farmyard.

Farmers completing Crop Protection Management Plans are also being asked to pay particular attention to the water section.

Mr Goldsworthy urged growers and sprayer operators to help turn the VI successes into “real environmental gains”.

“H2OK? must help us deliver at least a 30% reduction of pesticide residues in surface water,” he said.

CPA stand no: 792