1 March 2002

Manures will have to be stored until its safe to spread

TAKING advantage of crisp sunny winter mornings to spread a few loads of muck will no longer be an option when NVZ legislation is implemented.

Proposed regulations stipulate that manures cannot be spread on frozen, waterlogged, flooded or steeply sloping land, within 10m (33ft) of a watercourse or 50m (164ft) of a borehole, says James Hague.

"In addition to the above, there are also closed periods – applying only to sandy and shallow soils – when organic manures and nitrogen cannot be spread."

Restrictions mean producers will need sufficient capacity to store manures until they can be safely spread, says Mr Hague.

"It is DEFRAs intention to open up the Farm Waste Grant Scheme to new NVZ areas which will provide a 40% grant on cost of improving or expanding manure stores. Applications can also be made retrospectively."

When assessing manure storage requirements, calculate how much muck is produced over winter and dont forget to include rainfall, says Mr Hague. "In areas such as Devon where rainfall can be 50in/year, with at least 25in falling in winter, this can rapidly increase storage requirements."

But separating rainwater and dirty water from collecting yards will help reduce storage requirements, he adds. "Dirty water can be spread without restrictions, provided it is applied to land that is not waterlogged."

Where possible, bedding muck can also be separated and stockpiled. "Bedding muck is manure with a dry matter content of about 25%. There is no closed spreading period for manure as nitrogen is less leachable than for slurry."

&#8226 Grassland – No manure: Sept 1-Nov 1; No bagged nitrogen: Sept 15-Feb 1.

&#8226 Arable – No bagged nitrogen: Sept 1-Feb1.

&#8226 Without cover crop – No manure: Aug 1-Nov1.

&#8226 With cover crop – No manure: Sept 1-Nov 1.

Workshop topics ideal for producers

NVZs will be one of the topics under discussion at a series of Kingshay Farming Trust Forage Planning Workshops.

Workshops include a detailed look at assessing and preparing a fertiliser plan for your farm, says Kingshays James Hague. "This makes them ideal for producers concerned by the practical effect of proposed NVZ legislation on their businesses."

Workshops will be held at various venues across England. Places cost £55 for Kingshay members and £70 for non-members (0800-0749116).