Pressure is being put on government to grant a national derogation for the upcoming nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ) closed spreading periods.

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) is appealing to farm minister Jim Paice for a derogation following one of the wettest summers on record.

“For many farmers, like myself, we have slurry stores full to capacity and a long winter ahead of us.”
David Cotton

Speaking at Livestock 2012, RABDF chairman David Cotton, said: “A derogation is going to have to happen. It has been exceptional circumstances this year. The weather has led to waterlogged ground, consequently farmers have been unable to empty their slurry storage facilities which contain larger volumes than usual.

“For many farmers, like myself, we have slurry stores full to capacity and a long winter ahead of us.”

Mr Cotton also urged DEFRA and the Environment Agency to produce practical guidelines for this year’s spreading season which comes to an end on 31 October.

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