Home » Agricultural expert warns of summer silage pollution threat to Welsh waterways
Farming National News Nature

Agricultural expert warns of summer silage pollution threat to Welsh waterways

AN AGRICULTURAL expert is warning that highly-toxic run-off from local farms could add to the pollution problem in Welsh waterways this summer.

Local farmers should urgently check their silage clamps in the wake of a string of hefty fines for silage pollution, according to Freddie Hamilton-Russell at agricultural insurance broker Lycetts.

Farmers across the UK have recently been ordered to pay fines ranging from £5,000 to £20,000 after silage clamp leaks polluted local watercourses.

Hamilton-Russell told the Herald: “With the silage season upon us, it is vital that Welsh farmers check their silage clamps now – before the first cut – to prevent highly-toxic run-off from entering nearby waterways.

“Silage effluent, which can be up to 200 times more toxic than untreated sewage, poses a significant threat to aquatic life, wildlife, and broader ecosystems.”

According to rivers campaign group Afonydd Cymru, the agricultural sector is responsible for 82% of pollution in Welsh rivers.

“It’s essential that all parts of the silage storage system, from pipes to tanks, are well maintained,” explained Hamilton-Russell. “Silage clamps and all drainage systems should be carefully inspected checked to make sure they are airtight and leak-free.”

A deep clean can more easily identify leaks but farmers should be careful not to damage protective lining, asphalt or concrete surfaces.   

“Farmers should check that the floor is sound,” added Hamilton-Russell, “that cracks are properly repaired and that wall coatings and overlapping protective films are intact. 

“Collection channels and drains should be regularly cleaned out to ensure they are watertight and drains flushed with water before filling the clamp, to ensure they are free from leaks or blockages. 

online casinos UK

“After filling it, effluent levels should be regularly monitored and nearby watercourses checked for signs of pollution.

“Farmers must be proactive in their approach to managing silage storage. The consequences of negligence are not only environmentally disastrous but also financially very damaging, as the substantial fines for pollution incidents are not covered by insurance.”

Lycetts offers comprehensive insurance and risk management services tailored to the agricultural sector, supporting farmers in meeting health, safety, and environmental standards.