Registering now for the new Environmental Permit required to spray out washings from approved pesticides on to farmland could save growers £260, the Voluntary Initiative says.
The permits, which replace existing Groundwater Authorisations on 1 April 2010, are required under the Groundwater regulations.
Most growers should already have a Groundwater Authorisation, issued by the Environment Agency, which will automatically be updated to Environmental Permits.
But new permits will cost £390 each, £266 more than the current cost, from 1 April 2010.
“Farmers wishing to make disposals of pesticides or pesticide washings to land have one last chance to get their applications in before the new rates apply,” says Mike Payne, the NFU’s groundwater consultant.
To obtain a permit, growers must complete an application form providing details of the planned disposal site and the volume and types of liquid required for disposal. Any new applications must be accompanied by the fee.
Philippa Mansfield, of Catchment Sensitive Farming, says: “Poor disposal of pesticide washings can lead to diffuse water pollution so it’s important farmers comply with the requirement for a permit and dispose of washings safely.”
Once issued, permits are automatically renewed for an annual fee, which will increase by just over £1 to £153.90 from 1 April 2010.