world agriculture down on the farm
agricultural services pedigree livestock news dairy beef agricultural machinery agricultural property agricultural organisations
Stackyard News Jan 06

news index


soil links


New Nitrate Rules Could Wreck Industry

The Tenant Farmers Association will be using it's presence at the Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association (LAMMA) 25th Exhibition at Newark Showground to highlight its concerns over new restrictions on producers in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) being proposed by the European Commission.

The TFA's National Chairman Reg Haydon, attending LAMMA said "The Commission is proposing the blanket imposition of a 170kg limit on the amount of nitrogen in livestock manure that may be applied to land in an NVZ; the extension of closed periods for spreading slurry into February; the application of closed periods to all land types; and an increase in the amount of storage capacity for slurry on farms to cover the extended closed period. These proposals are neither practical nor based on any objective assessment of need".

DEFRA is currently in negotiation with the European Commission over its proposals and the TFA is urging DEFRA to take a hard line with the Commission to ensure that any changes are fully within the remit of the Nitrates Directive and are based on evidence that the current regulations are not delivering the required outputs.

"The view of the Commission is not necessarily in line with a proper interpretation of the Nitrates Directive requirements. The TFA is concerned that the Commission is trying to push the auspices of the Nitrates Directive further than is reasonable. In particular, it is trying to cover matters that should properly fall to be looked at under the Water Framework Directive where new measures have to be judged against the principle of "disproportionate cost" which does not feature under the Directive. We also have concerns about the Environment Agency's presentation of water quality data to the Commission and asked DEFRA in October of last year to arrange a meeting between farming interests and the Agency to discuss this further - we still await a date for that meeting" said Mr Haydon.

"Applying closed periods to clay soils and extending the closed periods into February will wreck what is considered good farming practice in the handling of slurry and manure and generally accepted principles of minimising damage to soils through inappropriate machinery use. Untold damage will be done if farmers are to be forced to wait until well into the New Year before getting onto land" said Mr Haydon.

"Who is going to pay for new storage capacity on tenanted holdings? Under traditional tenancy agreements, landlords are responsible for farm equipment, buildings and facilities which includes maintenance and infrastructure upgrades required to meet new statutory requirements. Depending on the terms of the tenancy agreement, it may take months, years or forever before tenanted farms comply with any revisions on these structures" said Mr Haydon.

"This is political correctness gone mad and we hope that DEFRA will convince the Commission to let common sense prevail" said Mr Haydon.

link Tenancy diversification scheme welcomed by TFA
link Nine years going no-where with the TB Forum
link New TB Rules Take Effect

    home | agri-services | pedigree pen | news | dairy | beef | machinery
quota | property | organisations | site map

Tenant Farmers Association
Tenant Farmers Association