The Lough Forbes catchment borders the three counties Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon.
It includes the following water bodies: Lough Boderg, Lough Bofin, Lough Scannal, Lough Rinn, Lough Forbes, the Rinn River, the Black River, the Eslin River and part of the Shannon.
The towns/villages of Rooskey, Dromod, Mohill, Termonbarry, Newtownforbes, Drumlish, Ballinamuck and Bornacoola are all within this area.
The farmland in the catchment is typically heavy lowland with a varying cover of rushes. Each year most farmers need to control their rushes by physical or chemical methods.
Unfortunately, there is evidence of an increasing problem with pesticide exceedances. Since March, the authorities have been sampling on a weekly basis at 13 separate locations within the Catchment.
This intensive sampling helps to identify the location of the problem. They have identified MCPA at most of the sites and it is clearly the pesticide with the biggest threat to water quality. The chemical is most often used on farms for rush control. It is typically sprayed on wet grasslands during the period June to September.
These poor results have led to the Department of Agriculture been more active on the ground and they have increased their enforcement activities including a higher number of farm inspections.
To help increase farmer awareness, Teagasc are holding an event on Tuesday, June 12 at 6.30pm on the farm of J.P. Campbell in Drumlish.
The event will demonstrate a number of treatments: a treatment sprayed with MCPA, the weed wiper treatment using glyphosate, a mulcher treatment and also an untreated area.
All farmers and contractors in the area are encouraged to attend.
For more information contact Teagasc in Longford Town (Tel: 043 3341021), Roscommon Town (Tel: 090 6626166) and Castlerea (Tel: 094 9620160) and, You can find us on Facebook @Teagascroscommonlongford.