Farmers in Dane catchment offered free weed wiper hire
United Utilities is bringing its popular free weed wiper hire scheme to farmers in the River Dane catchment for the first time.
The water company has joined forces with Cheshire Wildlife Trust to offer for hire logic brush-type weed wipers which target weeds directly while leaving the valuable underlying crop unaffected
Farmers can find out if they’re eligible for the offer, which runs from 30 April 2018 to 31 October 2018, by contacting their new catchment advisor, Jack Norris at: JNorris@Cheshirewt.org.uk or 07837 465 110.
Dane catchment advisor, Jack Norris, said: “The weed wiper can be used to treat anything that is significantly higher than the grass e.g. rushes, docks and thistles and is much more targeted than a spray. It’s powered by the towing vehicles battery and wheel rotation. The model available is small enough to be towed by a quad.
“With a properly adjusted weed wiper, herbicide is only applied to the weeds. This saves money as less of the herbicide chemical is required for the process. The combination of no spray and less chemical makes it a safer method of weed control for both the user and the wider environment,” he added.
United Utilities is offering the free weed wiper hire for up to three days to apply the herbicide, glyphosate, which is considered to be less harmful to the environment because it breaks down quicker than selective broadleaf herbicides such as MCPA, 2,4-D and Mecoprop which are commonly found in agricultural and amenity weed killers.
These selective weed killers have been detected through routine water quality monitoring in the River Dane catchment. Although the levels found have been too low to cause environmental or health risks they increase the cost of treating raw water.
Dr Kate Snow, Catchment Manager at United Utilities, said: “Weeds are a real problem for many farmers and growers. The practice of weed wiping is growing each year as a more efficient, alternative method of weed control.
“We’ve provided similar free hire offers in other catchments and they’ve proved to be very popular which is why we’re extending the scheme to farmers in the River Dane catchment this year.”
To find out more about this story please contact the United Utilities Press Office on 0345 072 0822 or 07904 112484.