8 September 1995

NSA pilots lift farm incomes

FARM income increased by an average £55/ha (£22.27/acre) on holdings taking part in MAFFs nitrate sensitive areas (NSAs) scheme, says environmental consultancy Entec UK.

The company was commissioned by MAFF to study the 160 farms covering more than 9000 hectares (22,230 acres) from Somerset to Humberside taking part in the NSAs pilot scheme.

Under the voluntary scheme, designed to reduce nitrate leaching into groundwater, farmers are compensated for cutting down nitrogen use and other management changes.

Farmers taking part successfully integrated the basic schemes management rules within existing farming systems, says Entec.

However, where they were using organic manures, farmers were unsure about total volumes used and the area of crops involved indicating a need for better record keeping. &#42