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Pesticides forum to take place in November in Swindon

WRc, an innovation consultancy working in the water, waste and gas sectors, is holding its second annual Pesticide Forum meeting in Swindon on 9 November 2016. As the water industry starts planning for PR19 and AMP7, this year’s event takes a forward look at future challenges and opportunities for managing pesticide risks to drinking water.

Pesticides play a key role in maintaining a secure and efficient food supply chain, but need to be used carefully to prevent contamination of drinking water sources. Achieving 100% compliance with drinking water standards is difficult, however, due to new pesticide authorisations and withdrawals, shifts in cropping patterns and changes in farming systems, which alter the type and timing of pesticide use. On the other hand, innovations in pesticide formulation, plant breeding and product application technology hold potential to reduce pesticide usage and prevent losses to water. On top of this, Brexit has created considerable uncertainty about the UK’s future agricultural policy and regulatory landscape.

This cross-sector event will bring together regulators, water companies, agrochemical companies, agronomists and farmers to explore how the UK agricultural and horticultural sector may transform over the next 10-20 years, how pesticide use will change, and what threats and opportunities this presents for managing drinking water quality. Taking an inter-disciplinary approach, industry experts will examine future trends in key economic, regulatory and environmental drivers and discuss options for balancing resource protection and food security. Confirmed speakers include: Jim Orson, National Institute of Agricultural Botany; Dr Jon Knight, Head of Research and Knowledge Transfer, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board; Prof Robert Edwards, Head of School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University; and Jorgen Jonsson of WRc’s Treatment Processes team.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to participate in interactive horizon-scanning workshops to explore future game-changers, adaptive management approaches and evidence needs.

Places are limited and available on a first come first served basis. Full details are available on the WRc website: http://www.wrcplc.co.uk/managing-pesticide-risks-to-drinking-water-future-challenges-and-new-opportunities.

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