Press Release

23rd November 2009



Record numbers of agronomists attended four water protection workshops this autumn clearly highlighting the importance the industry now places on the issue.

More than 270 people attended the workshops organised by the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), as part of the new strategic partnership between The Voluntary Initiative (VI) and the England Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative (ECSFDI).

The pesticides and water protection workshops updated agronomists on the latest regulatory situation with regard to water protection. They included an overview of the Water Framework Directive, implications for pesticide use, data on pesticide detections in water and agronomic solutions to help agronomists tailor advice to farmers so that the risk of pesticides impacting on watercourses is minimised.

Hazel Doonan, head of crop protection at the Agricultural Industries Confederation said: “Everybody connected with agriculture knows that BASIS qualified agronomists are essential to helping farmers use pesticides carefully and we were overwhelmed by the response to these workshops.

“It shows clearly how important agronomists value the opportunity to improve their knowledge, especially at a time of the year when they are particularly busy on farm.”

A second series of water protection workshops for agronomists are being planned by AIC for early autumn 2010.


Notes to editors:

1. The workshops were held at:

§ Red Lion Country Hotel, Andover

§ East of England Showground

§ Askham Bryan College, York

§ Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire

2.   The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) is the leading UK trade association in the agrisupply industry with over 300 members in the agrisupply trade, representing £6.5 billion turnover at farmgate. The Confederation represents a number of agrisupply sectors including: Animal Feed; Crop Protection and Agronomy; Fertilisers; Grain and Oilseeds; and Seed.

  1. The sponsors of The Voluntary Initiative are the Agricultural Engineers Association, Agricultural Industries Confederation, Country Land and Business Association, Crop Protection Association, National Association of Agricultural Contractors, the NFU, NFU Scotland and the Ulster Farmers Union.

The England Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative (ECSFDI) is a partnership project between Defra, Environment Agency and Natural England which offers advice and support to farmers to reduce diffuse water pollution from agriculture. For further information see