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21 June 23

Affinity Water to share latest trial results at Groundswell 2023

Healthy soils, cleaner water and a sustainable future are the key messages that Affinity Water will be demonstrating at this year’s Groundswell event with the launch of their companion cropping trial results.

Companion cropping funding is one of the initiatives Affinity Water’s catchment team have been providing farmers in their catchments to help manage water quality, rather than rely on expensive end of pipe treatment solutions.

In 2022, they funded over 300 ha of companion crops in oilseed rape (OSR) to reduce herbicide losses to surface waters.

Danny Coffey, agricultural advisor at Affinity Water, explains there is a need to improve land management practices, and having a close relationship between farmers and water companies is key to achieving this.

“We’ve been funding and trialling cover crops in our catchments for seven years now, but our companion cropping trials are new.

“We’re going into the second year of trials where we’ve looked at the impact of companion cropping in OSR on herbicide loss to water and cabbage stem flea beetle damage. There’s been increased interest in these results, so we’ll be sharing these at Groundswell,” he says.

Affinity Water are excited to be part of Groundswell and are proud to be headline sponsor for the sixth consecutive year.

Mr Coffey explains: “It’s as fantastic festival of knowledge sharing and exploration of the latest advances in regenerative agriculture.

“It will provide us an opportunity to speak with farmers about the company’s catchment management schemes and how these can provide funding for agricultural practices which not only help water but crop production and soil health too.

Mr Coffey adds: “As the largest water only company in the UK, Groundswell allows us to learn more about regenerative agriculture and highlight the journeys which many farmers are on to improve their soil health,” he says.

“There are many pressures on farmers today to not only make land management decisions, but expectations from the nation to enhance biodiversity, sequester carbon and protect our water.

“As a water company, we benefit from this way of farming, the insight farmers share with us and it is only right that we support farmers in this journey.”

Delegates are encouraged to come along to the stand to talk to the Affinity Water catchment team about their catchment management schemes and ongoing trial results. The stand will also host a catchment hub area which will house representatives from Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, University of Reading, Cranfield University and Affinity Water’s biodiversity and river restoration teams.

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