Help at hand for NVZ regulations

Farmers who are struggling to meet Nitrate Vulnerable Zone regulations from 1 January 2012 should contact the Environment Agency for help.

Speaking at the Royal Cornwall Show on Thursday (9 June), senior environment officer Sonia Thurley said the agency wanted to help farmers meet the new rules, especially those regulating storage of slurry and manure. “We’re very keen to help farmers – we have worked with a number of producers who have realised there’s no need to spend as much money as they thought.”

A recent NFU poll showed that almost half of farmers surveyed did not have enough slurry storage, or enough land to spread it on, to comply with the regulations. But with careful water management and other simple changes, about a quarter of farmers had no need to spend any capital, she said.

“It’s not too late to make a start on managing your slurry. Anyone who’s made a serious attempt to grapple with the regulations will be shown a lot more sympathy than those who have done nothing.”