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Monthly farming update from RH & RW Clutton

Mon 29 October 2018

The New ‘Farming Rules for Water’ came in to place on 2nd April 2018.  Whilst termed as ‘new’ rules, there is a substantial overlap with the existing requirements set through Cross Compliance.  The aim of these rules being to deliver the obligations contained in the EU Water Framework Directive (Article 11(3) to reduce diffuse pollution, directive 2000/60/EC) and to set a new baseline of good practice across the whole agricultural industry in England.

The rules are focused around manure handling, and soil and water protection.  There are 8 rules:

1. Planning use of manures and fertilisers
2. Storing organic manures
3. Applying manures and fertilisers
4. Where not to apply organic manures
5. Where not to apply fertiliser
6. Reasonable precautions to prevent soil erosion
7. Protecting against soil erosion by livestock
8. Position of livestock feeders

You should be familiar with all the above rules as they do replicate the existing Cross Compliance requirements.  Therefore, why are they NEW Rules do you ask?

There are 3 new key requirements under these rules:

1. Soil testing
2. Nutrient planning
3. Limitations around where livestock feeders cannot be positioned

For those farmers outside of an NVZ, nutrient planning may be a new requirement for your farming business.  It will now be a requirement for all ‘agricultural’ land to have a planned organic manure and manufactured fertiliser plan, and that all ‘cultivated’ land has a valid soil sample analysis done every 5 years.

For livestock farmers please note that livestock feeds on ‘agricultural’ land must not be positioned within 10m of inland freshwaters or coastal waters, or within 50m of a spring, well or borehole.

The Environment Agency will oversee compliance with the rules, and it is intended that they will work closely with the RPA to minimise the potential breaches of the Farming Rules for Water and the Cross-Compliance requirements.  Should you fail an inspection, then you have committed ‘an offence’.  Fines can/will be applied.

For more information or advice on ensuring you comply contact Oliver Harwood on 01342 410122 or

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