Protecting the environment, wildlife and people on or near your farm will come as second nature to you. No doubt, you already do a lot of work on stewardship, even if you’re not part of a specific scheme.
At Bayer CropScience we’d like to help you continue that work: we realise that when it comes to using crop protection safely, it’s not always something you can do in isolation.
To ensure the continued use of existing and new, highly beneficial crop protection products, it is critical that the whole agricultural industry demonstrates the highest level of stewardship. This means taking all possible steps to raise standards of handling and usage, and minimising any possible risks to health and the environment.
Without a concerted and visible effort to satisfy the relevant government bodies, the industry risks losing vital crop-protection products, leading to the return of long forgotten pest and disease impacts, as well as lower yields.
There is much legislation which requires that the farming industry take all possible care to avoid having an impact on the environment, wildlife and livestock. You can read about it at the CRD (Chemicals Regulation Directorate) Pesticides website
As well as the free resources that we're making available to farmers, our stewardship and product experts are on hand to provide friendly guidance and information. Call us during office hours on 0845 6092266 or 01223 226644.
In this section of the website, you will find more detailed stewardship information in the following areas:
Seed treatments are considered by many as one of the most environmentally friendly methods of crop protection targeting the treatment and reducing the need to spray. However, the surface of treated seed still contains agrochemicals, and there's a potential danger to wildlife if these chemicals get into the environment in an uncontrolled way.
Other than your normal care when using crop protection treatments two specific areas to watch are:
Some types of drills, especially precision vacuum types, emit air that can contain dust. For insecticide treatments seed labels have been updated and now include a requirement for these drills to vent onto or into the soil, or be modified to do so.
In the last two years there have been a few important but isolated incidents in Continental Europe with treated seed affecting wildlife - caused by incorrect practice. As a result, European and UK registration authorities have put seed treatments under greater scrutiny and now demand increased levels of safe use stewardship from suppliers and users.
Always ensure adequate seed drilling equipment is used to maximise good incorporation in the soil, minimise spillages and dust emision.
By following a few guidelines, you can help seed treatments work their best for you while protecting the wider environment:
By focusing on safe use and stewardship, historical problems such as bunt, leaf stripe, aphids and the viruses they transmit will not be allowed to come to the fore again. Farmers get less seed waste and better crop establishment, which result in higher yields and quality. Drill contractors have happier customers, and crop protection advisers can satisfy their roles as champions in crop protection and custodians of the environment.
In recent years there has been concern with the use of slug pellets and particularly the metaldehyde A.S. being found in drinking water. NOT ALL SLUG PELLETS ARE THE SAME, Bayer agricultural pellets contain methiocarb, but best practice does apply to all pellets.
Quality pellets have a much greater resistance to weathering and mould; methiocarb is also much less soluble than competitor products. However it is still advisable to follow stewardship guidelines to protect the environment, and optimise efficiency.
Use field history, cropping and and test baiting with layers mash to determine risk and use in conjuction with good agronomic consolidated practice.
The "Get Pelletwise" campaign is focused on the use of metaldehyde, but its website provides good overall advice for using any slug pellets. You can find out more at www.getpelletwise.co.uk
Bees are hugely important pollinators across the agricultural landscape and their value to the horticultural and agricultural industries in the UK is more than £200 million per annum. Whilst the number of honey bees in the UK is actually on the increase, bee health generally in the UK and many other countries is on the decline.
The major factor in honey bee decline is generally recognised as infestation with the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. In addition to Varroa there are a number of viral and fungal diseases that are also damaging bee colonies throughout the UK, as well as a decline in suitable habitats.
Some have expressed concern about the potential for insecticides to have an effect on bee health. To avoid impacting bees it is important to follow stewardship guidelines when using crop protection products.
Guidelines for using insecticides
Insecticides can be put into two broad groups:
Group 1:Those that need especially careful stewardship to ensure no harm to bees (organophosphates, pyrethroids, some neonicotinoids)
Group 2: Those which are not labelled as harmful to bees (thiacloprid, Acetamiprid)
For group 1 products:
For group 2 products:
Potato growers have over the years become familiar with product stewardship programmes. These have shown to optimise efficiency while ensuring any impact on the environment is minimal. Our Monceren products are formulated as powders for tuber treatment. They are the market leading tuber treatments for the control of Rhizoctonia solani (Black scurf) and offer the maximum in treatment flexibility for the professional potato grower.
Although Monceren is classified as not dangerous to game, wild birds or animals, it is still important to minimise impact for the operator and the environment. As with all crop protection products, good stewardship of the product will help to protect the environment and makes good sense for your business. For it to work it must be on the target.
The following guidelines are a measure of best practice:
A demonstration video of best practice for the application of Bayer powder treatment through Team Sprayers on planter applicator with a Digimon control can be viewed here