Syngenta is working with the James Hutton Institute and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in a pilot project to develop a run-off tool app.
The tool operates on a field rather than whole farm basis and through entering information on agronomic practices, soil type, top soil permeability, depth to compacted layer and slope, farmers can obtain a run-off risk score.
For fields with a high run-off score, further questions help refine the result, with the tool then suggesting best management practices to reduce run-off. These might include in-field buffers, farm traffic management options, breaking up the soil sub surface or checking irrigation timings.
Belinda Bailey, Syngenta environmental initiatives manager, says: “We know we are losing soil. With run-off there is the potential for soil to erode and the potential for pesticides and fertiliser to enter water courses.
“It is for all of us to manage what we are doing and demonstrate as an industry we are supporting a reduction of run-off.”
Using such a tool may help avoid legislation in this area in the future and while the tool is currently only designed to provide information concerning surface run-off, there is potential to address leaching in the future, says Ms Bailey.
Providing the pilot is successful, Syngenta hopes the tool will be ready for launch this summer.