Farm to Tap – A new scheme for farmers from Severn Trent

Severn Trent has just today launched a new scheme for farmers called ‘Farm to Tap’, this scheme offers farmers up to £8/ha for reducing metaldehyde levels in their water sources. Metaldehyde is a chemical used in some slug pesticides which can end up in drinking water.

Farmers within a Drinking Water Safeguard Zone or in the Severn Trent priority catchment areas are eligible to sign up to the scheme.

The scheme states:

By signing up to Farm to Tap you will:

  • Receive a £25 bonus if you sign up before 31 August.
  • Receive £4 – £8 per hectare of eligible land if your metaldehyde concentrations are reduced.
  • Earn up to £100 bonus if you water sampling is below the metaldehyde water quality standard (0.1 ppb).
  • Receive an extra £10 for every farmer you refer to the scheme*

It is known that payments to farmers will be calculated and distributed based on water quality samples taken fortnightly from September to early December.

Severn Trent believe that this scheme is vital in preventing a ban of metaldehyde because it wants to help those using metaldehyde to reduce its use. Severn Trent feel that a possible way of doing this is by switching to ferric phosphate. According to a technical adviser specialising in such substances, “Sluxx (ferric phosphate) is a high quality, wet process, pasta pellet, and doesn’t have the same application restrictions as methaldehyde products, with no harvest interval, no buffer zone and no water related issues. ” Joining the Farm to Tap scheme can help by providing the support, resources and advice farmers need to make the switch which is another benefit in addition to the financial one.

To join the scheme, you need to meet the below criteria:

  • You are growing winter wheat and/or oil seed rape this autumn.
  • Your winter wheat and/or oilseed rape is in one of Severn Trent’s priority catchments:
    • Lower Derwent**
    • Cropston
    • Middle Severn
    • Whitacre Bourne and Blythe
    • Cound
    • Teme
    • Shropshire Middle Severn
    • Avon
    • Worcestershire Severn
    • Leam
    • Staunton Harold**

** If your land is located in Lower Derwent or Staunton Harold, this scheme is not available in your catchment area – Severn Trent offer a variation, which still includes the £25 early bird bonus.