Nitrate Vulnerable Zones – Wet Weather Woes as Closed Period Begins

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DEFRA is conscious that farmers may be experiencing difficulties where spreading has been delayed due to late harvesting or where wet weather conditions are preventing the spreading of slurry due to pollution risks.  The closed period in England for spreading in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones came into effect on 15th October, with many stores across the region fuller than average for this time of year.

DEFRA has advised that where farmers are experiencing problems they should contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 (Mon-Fri, 8am – 6pm) as soon as possible to discuss their options and receive advice on what actions can be taken.  We would advise anyone experiencing problems, or expecting that problems may arise during the closed period to contact DEFRA sooner rather than later.

With slurry storage and water quality taking more of a precedent in recent years, it would be no surprise to hear that there are a number of different grants / options available for those looking to alter their slurry storage system.   As always a number of the grant options are selective based on the “priority” of the holding, this is however not a totally exclusive list and we would of course welcome a discussion with anyone looking to alter their system.

This is obviously no excuse not to complete your NVZ records and this article may serve as a timely reminder to some to get them updated!  Missing, insufficient and inaccurate NVZ records are one of the most common causes of BPS penalties.  Should you wish to discuss possible grants available, need assistance in completing your NVZ records or indeed are seeking any other form of agricultural advice then do not hesitate to contact our specialist team on 01423 860322.