DEFRA must provide help towards slurry storage costs’, were the words coming from the Tenant Farmers Association national vice-chairman, Stephen Wyrill, speaking at the South West Dairy Show yesterday.

“It is simply not acceptable that farmers in Scotland and Northern Ireland are given grant aid towards new slurry storage capacity when English farmers will be required to meet the cost fully themselves,” he said.

“Dairy farmers will be particularly badly hit by these new regulations,” said Mr Wyrill. “And all firms producing dairy costing are forecasting a major down turn in the fortunes of dairy farmers over the next couple of years not least because of the extra cost that will be associated with meeting nitrate vulnerable zone regulations.

“And at a time when there is growing concern over issues of food security and a demand for local food with guaranteed provenance and high quality, the government should be ensuring we are able to maintain a productive agricultural base in the country,” said Mr Wyrill.