Farmers who have not yet received copies of the 2006 cross-compliance handbooks are being advised to request some.

Farmers need a copy of Cross-Compliance Handbook for England 2006 edition to fill in their SP5 form correctly.

The RPA has also confirmed that producers could be penalised if they are unable to produce a copy of Cross-Compliance Guidance for Soil Management 2006 during an inspection.

One of the new cross-compliance rules is that farmers must “retain and take account of the Cross Compliance Guidance for Soil Management 2006 edition”.

By 1 September, 2006, they must also have completed a simple risk-based Soil Protection Review.

An RPA spokesman said farmers should have already been posted copies of the booklets before Christmas 2005 and claimed spare ones were available from DEFRA’s publication line on 0845 955 6000.

But when FW requested a copy we were told the main handbook was out of stock and there would be a two-week wait.

Versions can also be found on DEFRA’s website: http://www.defra.gov.uk/farm/capreform/pubs/index.htm