Forward Planning And Careful Management Can Avoid Potential Pollution Problems

UK - While dairy farms are often seen as the biggest pollution risk, or even sheep farmers disposing of chemical dips, beef producers cannot ignore their responsibilities. Ahead of Beef Expo, the Environment Agency and Yara look at some key issues.
calendar icon 27 April 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
THE Environment Agency has worked successfully with dairy farmers for many years and the number of the serious water pollution incidents, usually from point sources such as slurry stores and silage facilities, has fallen significantly.

In addition, bathing water quality around our coasts has improved considerably, reflecting investment by water companies in improving sewage treatment and work by farmers in all sectors to reduce water pollution.

But as these more obvious pollution sources have been dealt with more subtle, diffuse pollution has become more obvious. The quantities of diffuse pollution from individual farms may be small, but the combined effect can be large.

Nutrients, pesticides and sediments from farms are still polluting some rivers, lakes and coastal waters.

While the beef sector typically produces less polluting materials than dairy farming there are situations where beef farming can cause serious water pollution problems. However, these be avoided with forward planning and careful management.

Manure is a useful fertiliser so take care with it and apply it back to land. If stored temporarily in fields, keep sides of manure heaps as steep as possible (to minimise impact of rainfall) and keep well away from ditches, streams or springs.

Source: Farmers Guardian
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