Know How / Compliance

Farmers have to comply with an ever-changing array of financial, planning, environmental, animal welfare, safety and employment legislation.

This page will guide you through the maze of rules and regulations, highlight when new ones are being introduced and offer advice on how to avoid common pitfalls.

Key areas of focus:

  • Environmental permits and licenses
  • NVZs
  • Cross-compliance
  • Farm inspections
  • Cattle movement and transport

Practical advice

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Stricter rules of firewood sales - what you need to know

Firewood sales are to be regulated to outlaw the burning of wet wood and help the UK government meet its air pollution ambitions. By May 2022, all sales of firewood…


Advice on using metaldehyde up safely before ban

Arable farmers are being urged to follow Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG) guidelines closely to avoid polluting water in the product’s last season of use. There is uncertainty about exactly how…


The rules on accepting inert waste for farm projects

A knock on the door might bring an offer of free material to raise ground levels for a building project. It might be just what is needed and could save…


Business Clinic: Can I make a field entrance through hedge?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Nicola Quick, planning expert at Carter Jonas, advises on whether a hedge…


Muckspreading rules: How dairy farmers will be affected

Farming is in the firing line as the Environment Agency adopts a tougher approach to protecting England’s watercourses from agricultural pollution. Much confusion surrounds the new rules for spreading organic…


Sales of land in support schemes: What farmers should know

Land that has been included in a farm business’s support scheme application or agreement is subject to specific rules that must be followed during the transaction process to avoid financial…


What Lion Training Passport scheme means for poultry staff

Until recently, it has been possible for farms to diversify into free-range egg production as long as the required land area was available. This opportunity has seen a rapid growth…


4 pitfalls to avoid when upgrading poultry shed windows

Since 1 October 2020, all buildings that house poultry have had to fit windows to meet Red Tractor standards.  For many farmers, this means retrofitting units in order to comply.…


How to manage staff exposure to poultry dust

Respiratory disease is a major health risk for UK poultry farmworkers, with incidence of occupational asthma double the national average. Staff are exposed to many different airborne particles that are…


How to protect your farm from fire risk and stay legal

Farm fires can be deadly and have devastating consequences for your business. Farmers are required by law to conduct a fire risk assessment to help protect all aspects of their…


Environmental pig permits: Everything you need to comply

Pig farmers must comply with new requirements for environmental permits from 21 February, with key changes relating to slurry store coverage and ammonia emissions reporting. With an increasing number of…


5 most common cross-compliance errors and how to avoid them

Failure to report livestock movements correctly is the most common error made by farmers when it comes to meeting cross-compliance rules. Defra has recently published the results of all the…


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The rules for arable farming in an NVZ in NI and Scotland

Nitrate vulnerable zones exist to protect the environment against potential pollution from fertiliser and manure applications. Each devolved nation has its own rules – so what do arable farmers need…


Analysis: Industry reacts to new autumn muckspreading rules

The Environment Agency (EA) is facing fierce criticism following the publication of its guidance on spreading organic manures, which critics say will prevent applications to most fields in England this…


New assurance rules on crops for biofuel from 1 July

Arable farmers need to comply with new rules on growing crops for the biofuel market. From 1 July 2021, production standards set out in the EU Renewable Energy Directive (Red)…


Welsh farmers reveal crippling costs of new NVZ rules

The clash between farmers and the Welsh government over the new all-Wales nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ) is intensifying into one of the most bitter disputes ever waged in the Welsh…


How poultry assurance scheme can slash permit costs

Poultry farms with more than 40,000 bird places could save £940/year on Environment Agency (EA) charges by signing up to a new assurance scheme. Farms with units of this size…


Farming rules for water: What’s in store?

The farming rules for water regulations (2018) (FRfW) were introduced to create a national baseline for good farm practices. They require land managers to take reasonable precautions to prevent diffuse…


How the new poultry standards proposals will affect farmers

Earlier this year, two consultations on farm assurance standards for the UK poultry sector came to a close. Red Tractor and Defra propose changes that will help keep standards up…


The rules for arable farming in an NVZ in England

Nitrate vulnerable zones (NVZs) account for about 55% of land in England, making it more likely than not that a farming enterprise is within a designated NVZ. So with NVZs…


Farmers split on Red Tractor standards proposals

Farmers are fairly evenly split in their approach to the Red Tractor consultation on standards – and the organisation in general – a recent Farmers Weekly poll suggests. Using our…


Red Tractor - the pros and cons of farm assurance schemes

Red Tractor – the UK’s largest farm assurance scheme – is currently consulting on the next iteration of its standards as it attempts to keep up with consumer expectations, legislation…


Q&A: How do organic farm inspections work under lockdown?

Organic farmers audited by Soil Association Certification will continue to be inspected remotely until at least the end of September. The organisation sets out tips and advice for farmers to…


Farmers plan nitrate trading system for Poole Harbour

In an innovative solution to protecting wildlife from agricultural nutrients in the Pool Harbour catchment area, farmers are working with the NFU and Wessex Water on a scheme to reduce…