Whilst many are in the midst of lambing, spring drilling and emptying slurry stores, here at Lister Haigh we are starting to gear up for the spring Land & Farm market to kick off and the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application window for 2019. As spring has arrived early this year, so to has the hype of when the first crop of silage will be taken, but this is still some way off.
One thing that continues to sneak under farmers radars is the Farming Rules For Water. First introduced in April 2018 the Farming Rules For Water require all farmers, regardless of whether they are in an NVZ, to assess pollution risk, undertake soil tests and plan the application of both manures and fertilisers before any application, not only does this require a working knowledge of RB209 but it also requires a form of record keeping not accustom to some. Until now farmers have been operating under an unofficial grace period, unfortunately this is about to change.
From 2nd April 2019 the rules designed to “standardise good farming practices” will become enforceable. Enforced by the Environment Agency these rules sit separate from the Cross Compliance element of BPS. Initially we suspect the Environment Agency will target holdings with known pollution problems with a poor history of record keeping and neighbouring holdings, however moving forwards anybody could be subject to an on farm inspection. Our advice is to be proactive and act now to ensure that you have the necessary paper trial in place, the rules are not designed to trip people up and can be read in detail on the government website GOV.UK.
Of course should you require any further advice, or, if you are interested in Lister Haigh producing you a Farming Rules For Water pack and user guide do not hesitate contact our Agricultural Team on 01423 860322.