NFU Cymru has said it is “deeply dissatisfied” by the Welsh Assembly‘s decision to increase the amount of Wales classified as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone.

As of 1 January 2009, 4% of Wales will be designated as NVZ, an increase of 1%. All the areas of Wales mentioned in the NVZ proposals will be included with just one exception, the proposed area to the east of Welshpool.

Mr Bernard Llewellyn, NFU Cymru rural affairs board chairman said: “This is a disappointing day for Welsh agriculture, whose evidence and efforts to reduce nitrates in surface and ground waters has been ignored by the introduction of a totally out of proportion action programme for farmers in these new NVZ areas. 

“Other potential sources of nitrates have been largely ignored as this highly weighted, one-sided, legislation applies to farmers only.”

Mr Llewellyn added: “The fact is, for many farmers in the livestock and especially the dairy sectors, the Welsh Assembly Government’s decision brings major and disproportionate costs. Farmers faced with designation will be faced with restriction on applying fertiliser and manures, a need for capital investment to increase capacity to store manures on farm and additional record keeping requirements.”

There will now be an appeal process which NFU Cymru will be encouraging its members to use.  The deadline for appeals is 31 March 2009.