Plans to extend Nitrate Vulnerable Zones to 70% of England pose “unprecedented challenges for dairy farmers”, according to Dairy UK.

The NFU has also pointed out that under the new rules dairy farmers would be required to have five to six months’ slurry storage which will cost each farm tens of thousands of £s.

Speaking about the publication of DEFRA’s consultation on the implementation of the Nitrates Directive in England, Peter Dawson, Policy Director for Dairy UK said: “It’s clear that this will be a major issue for dairy farmers. DEFRA’s proposals will impose significant costs on the dairy sector such as additional storage requirements.

“Whilst the commercial environment in the industry is improving the majority of dairy farmers would find it extremely difficult to engage in significant expenditure of this kind.

“We are working with farm consultants, Promar International, to quantify exactly how much these proposals will cost, but it’s already clear that the government needs to consider very carefully and precisely how it expects farmers in England to meet any increase in the regulatory burdens imposed on them.

“The industry is fully responsive to growing environmental demands being placed on it, but DEFRA’s proposals represent a significant step change in the obligations placed on dairy farmers. 

“During the consultation we will be working closely with DEFRA and stakeholders to highlight the impact these proposals will have on our sector.”

Will your business be able to cope with the proposals? Let us know your thoughts on the forums.

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