Ban on straw burning may increase pesticide threat to waters

Weed problems in cereal crops will increase following the ban on straw burning due to take effect at the end of 1993, studies by the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service (ADAS) and the Institute of Arable Crops Research (IACR) have shown. Controlling the weeds is likely to mean more widespread applications of the herbicides chlortoluron and isoproturon, which are already contaminating water supplies.

Most farmers are expected to switch to straw incorporation when the ban on straw and stubble burning is introduced under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It has been recognised for some time that incorporation will increase fuel consumption in agriculture because of the extra ploughing and cultivation needed to prepare a seed bed for the next crop. But collaborative research by IACR and ADAS suggests there will also be an increase in ann

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