New partnership promotes responsible pesticide use

A new partnership to promote responsible pesticide use and water protection to farmers across England has been announced.

The Voluntary Initiative and the England Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative have joined forces to undertake farmer surveys, agronomist workshops led by the Agricultural Industries Confederation, water protection workshops for farmers by the NFU and training for trainers organised by the Crop Protection Association.

Additional advice developed by the VI will promote responsible pesticide use. This will be distributed widely via publications and the media as well as on an upgraded VI website at A booklet to help farmers protect water from crop protection products will also be published.

VI water sub-group chairman Bob Breach said : “We are pleased to have reached agreement on this partnership that allows us to extend the advice the VI has been developing in pilot and target catchments to farms across England.”

Dr Philippa Mansfield from Natural England, one of the partners behind ECSFDI, added: “The VI will be providing practical advice for farmers on best practice pesticide use, which should help reduce diffuse water pollution from agricultural pesticides. It is great that this advice will be made available across the country to extend the benefits.”

The news comes just three weeks after the VI struck a partnership with the Environment Agency to implement the pesticide aspects of the Water Framework Directive.

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