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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How to protect farmland against new public rights of way

Landowners should take active steps to prevent members of the public accessing private land, to help prevent new rights of way being imposed on farms, including submitting ownership documents to…


Which rules are relaxed when farmland is flooded?

Farmers watching flood waters rise across their land often have little time to save livestock and move machinery, let alone comply with normal animal movement and cross-compliance regulations. Fortunately, Defra…


What to do if you have a health and safety farm inspection

Hearing that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is planning to visit can be a worrying moment for farmers. However, taking a proactive approach to health and safety and some…


10 most common cross-compliance breaches and how to avoid them

Failing to conform to bovine tuberculosis testing intervals has topped a livestock-heavy list of the most common cross-compliance breaches. The rules apply to all Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claimants and…


Housing multiple staff: What farmer landlords need to know

Farmers with staff accommodation housing multiple occupants or who let residential property are reminded that new rules came into force last year. These require them to register their property with…


Top tips on staying legal when removing hedges

The rules around hedgerows can be complex with permissions on what you can do to them changing, depending on the season, their location and even their length. Removing a hedgerow…


Advice on planning your slurry storage requirements

With the Welsh government proposing to introduce its Agricultural Pollution Measures regulations across Wales farmers will need to review their slurry storage and weigh up options to tackle any under-capacity.…


How to avoid drone insurance and licensing pitfalls

Farmers with drones are putting themselves at risk of huge fines because of legal confusion over what constitutes commercial use.   Rural insurer NFU Mutual says it is concerned that…


Top tips to pass a pig farm assurance scheme audit

While regular audits are routine on UK pig farms, some pork producers can expect more frequent visits in future after Red Tractor introduced tougher compliance standards. Red Tractor assured pig…


Handy guide to key cross-compliance dates 2019

Defra and the agricultural departments of the devolved administrations have released the key dates in 2019 to help farmers avoid breaching cross-compliance rules. The rules apply to all Basic Payment…


How to control smells on poultry farms

Keeping a tight lid on smell is one of the primary responsibilities of the poultry farm manager. Statutory authorities have a duty to deal with odour complaints from a variety…


The rules for legal storage of pesticides on farm

Pesticides must be stored properly to protect people and the environment, but stores can vary from purpose-built barns to converted buildings. We explain the rules so that you stay compliant…


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What new water protection powers would mean for farmers

The Environment Agency is close to using fresh powers to regulate water quality that will include the ability to ban cropping or impose low stocking densities. Water Protection Zones (WPZs)…


Video: Why farmers are facing recycling headaches

Plastic and tyre waste disposal is a growing problem for agriculture. Environmental regulations require farmers to dispose of waste through reputable waste management services and they need to show proof…


Licence for shooting pest birds - where do farmers stand?

Natural England’s recent decision to revoke the general licence for controlling certain pest bird species came as a surprise and has stirred up controversy between farmers and environmental groups. The…


Current UK TB rules - and what's coming next

Defra and its devolved counterparts announced a series of tougher bovine TB rules in the past months in a bid to control the disease, which continues to see tens of…


Red Tractor's new inspection regime - what you need to know

Red Tractor is increasing the number of unannounced inspections on farms that fall short of its standards, using a new risk-based inspection regime which will start in November 2018.  Currently…


Guide details how farmers can reduce ammonia emissions

A  guide published on Friday (27 July) sets out the steps farmers, advisers and contractors can take to reduce ammonia emissions and help improve air quality. The Code of Good…


Gove's new farm pollution controls: The details and reaction

Stricter controls are to be imposed on fertiliser, manure and slurry applications under government plans to improve UK air quality. Dairy and beef farms are among the sectors that will…


What EU ammonia rules could mean for UK pig producers

UK ammonia targets are under negotiation and if reductions are implemented it could cause extra pressure for pig producers and livestock farmers. Nigel Penlington, head of research, development and knowledge…