Students attending Coleg Sir Gâr’s safe use of pesticides course at Gelli Aur campus were offered an additional insight into a weed control system which reduces environmental damage.
The Weed Wiper pesticide applicator was introduced to a recent PA2 course as a result of a Welsh Water initiative supported by Natural Resource Wales, to reduce contamination of water systems which can be of particularly of use for farmers located in water catchment areas.
John Owen, farm manager at Gelli Aur campus said: “Welsh Water provided the weed wiper which works by applying pesticide to a rolling brush that only treats the plant rather than depositing chemicals into the ground and water systems as well as reducing drift spray.
“The machine is only licenced to use glyphosate, a chemical with less impact on water quality compared to the herbicide MCPA which takes longer to break down.”
Phillippa Pearson, catchment manager for Welsh Water, said: “We are proud to work with Coleg Sir Gar and support their safe use of pesticides course.
“Our routine raw water monitoring programme has detected increasing traces of pesticides in areas we have never seen them before. While these levels are too low to pose a risk to those drinking the water, they are enough to breach the rigorous drinking water standards so we want to work with land managers to take action to address this issue together.
“We have recently confirmed that our award winning weed wiper trial, which provides free weed wiper hire for land owners in the Teifi, Towy and Upper Wye catchments, will continue until 2020. Further information on this trial is available on our website – dwrcymru.com/watersource.”