A total of six NRoSO and three BASIS points are available by following this year’s ‘Slug Trail’ at Cereals 2015.

The trail runs between the Water UK, Certis and DeSangosse stands on Avenue 5 and requires participants to answer questions to update their knowledge of slug pellet stewardship practices.

“The aim is to equip spray operators and advisers with an understanding of the risks that can lead to metaldehyde exceedances occurring in water,” says Simon McMunn of the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG), which is working closely with the water companies.

“There is a very real opportunity to continue working together with the water industry to prevent the problems associated with metaldehyde reaching water, it’s not a lost cause,” he affirms.

Simon adds that there is a window of opportunity to demonstrate that voluntary measures can deliver, to meet Water Framework Directive and Drinking Water Directive requirements and reduce the burden on expensive and carbon-intensive water treatment processes.

Farmers situated in water catchments at risk from metaldehyde exceedance in particular will be invited to take a field-by-field risk based approach to slug pellet treatment decisions, considering soil type and saturation, field slope and proximity to a watercourse or ditch – as well as factoring in the weather forecast and threat of heavy rain.

“It is very important for us to work closely with the agricultural sector to reduce the risk of water supplies breaching standards set as part of drinking water quality regulations,” explains Dr Jodie Whitehead, Catchment Manager at Severn Trent Water.

Simon adds that the Slug Trail, between the water companies’ stand and the two MSG companies represented at Cereals – Certis and De Sangosse – is an opportunity for growers, operators and advisers to test their knowledge on the issue, and to earn a total six NRoSO or three BASIS CPD points across the three stands.

Regional water company representatives will be on hand to explain the specific issues they are facing and how farmers can engage with them to aid catchment initiatives to protect water.

The stands partaking in the Slug Trail are situated on the Environment and Research aisle (avenue five).