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Discuss development of a farm management action plan to address water quality issues on Owlett’s Farm.

Assignment 1: Development of a farm management action plan to address
water quality issues on Owlett’s Farm
You have been provided with a farm description, the required tasks are:
Tasks
1. Examine the description of Owlett’s Farm, including the environmental issues that have been
reported and local sensitivities and features of the area. In particular those related to water quality
issues (the focus of the required management plan).
2. Examine the activities taking place on the farm (incl. the crop nutrition and crop protection
programmes for individual crops) and determine which activities could be contributing to water
quality issues on the farm.
a. Amongst other resources, it is suggested that you make use of:
i. RB209 – volume 4 should contain all the information you need.
ii. The PPDB website – http://sitem.herts.ac.uk/aeru/ppdb/en/.
3. Identify suitable mitigation options which might contribute to this farmer’s aim of reducing the
risk of water pollution resulting from his activities.
4. Formulate these options into a management action plan for the coming year, and explain how
each action will help in reducing water pollution.

Note: There is no prescribed format for this plan, but it should be remembered that you are producing
an action plan for a farmer, not an essay.
Word limit: 2000 words (excluding references and tables)
Note: Drafts will be accepted (it is strongly recommended that you use this service), but must be
sent by email to a.green@herts.ac.uk by 9am on Tuesday the 29th of May 2018.
Note: Although Owlett’s Farm does exist, it will not help you to try and find out where it is or
anything else about the area, as the facts have been amended for the purposes of this assignment.
Nutrient applications
 The fertilisers applied to the different crops should be evaluated in relation to the guidance
provided in volume 4 of RB209.
o The SNS status and P and K indices of the soils prior to growing each crop are
provided for you (as if assessed from soil sampling), so there is no need for you to
try and work this out, just concern yourself with the recommendations tables on
page 23 onwards.
o Be aware of the fact that winter wheat is grown twice, and the recommendations
may not be the same for both times.
 You will also need to consider any other relevant major pieces of legislation.
 You may wish to display your findings in a table, and identify any areas in which the farmer
may be getting his applications wrong, and what the implications might be.
 Although you are mainly to concern yourself with water quality issues, you can support any
recommendations with anything that might encourage the farmer to adopt them (e.g.
economic and/or other environmental benefits). However, do not consider things that have
no water quality implications at all.
Pesticide applications
 Look at the various crop protection chemicals being used on the farm.
 Are any being found in the surface and/or groundwaters of the catchment?
 Are there any others which may be particularly risky in relation to the aquatic environment?
 Are there any alternatives that might be available.
 Useful resources may include:
o The PPDB website – http://sitem.herts.ac.uk/aeru/ppdb/en/.
o Manufacturers’ websites (e.g. Syngenta, BASF, Bayer, etc.).
o Other online resources.
Other
 Consider any other items in the farm description that may have implications for water
quality.
 What could be done on the farm to reduce the risks?
 Display your results in tabular format.


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