Thursday, 12 September 2013

Widespread death caused by just two teaspoonful of chemical.

Aquatic life such as this rainbow trout are particularly vulnerable to insecticides
A couple of months or so ago, there was a really nasty pollution incident in a river in Wiltshire and of course the attention turned immediately to local farmers as to the cause. In fact, as it turned out, two teaspoonfuls of insecticide poured down a kitchen sink has been held responsible for wiping out insect life on a 10-mile stretch of one of the country’s prime fishing rivers.
The incident on the river Kennet caused ecological devastation on a stretch of river, showing just how, if certain pesticides get in the wrong hands or are miss used, major problems can occur. The DEFRA minister Richard Benyon, has asked his officials to draw up curbs on the domestic sale of chlorpyryifos, the chemical responsible.

The agricultural industry has already introduced a scheme called “Say no to drift campaign”, introduced on a voluntary basis to curb any unwanted affects of misplaced insecticides. They advocate the use of low drift nozzles on sprayers and extended buffer zones (over and above what they have to do legally) as “must do” measures to give the insecticide a future.
Does this approach work? Well, if you take the orchard sector, where low drift technology had a poor up-take, with only around 7% even being aware of the low drift nozzles in 2011. We now find that 91 per cent of orchard growers are either using or planning to use this technology.

The voluntary approach can certainly work and the vast majority of farmers, who already take huge care when using any pesticide, can and will take on new advice to become even more targeted when applying chemical products.     

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