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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Safe farms, safe staff and visitors – a guide to legislation

While agriculture employs just 1.5% of the total UK workforce it accounts for almost 20% of all workplace fatalities in Britain. Aside from the devastating impact on families, friends and…


Rule reminder: Key pesticide stewardship guidelines

Pesticide stewardship campaigns are now at the heart of industry efforts to prevent further losses of under-threat active ingredients. Here, we give a reminder of the stewardship guidelines or information…


Complete guide to silage clamp compliance

Water authorities are carrying out farm inspections to prevent effluent polluting watercourses. With silage a particular threat, how can farmers ensure they don’t get caught out? There were more than…


Guide to 2020 farming cross-compliance dates

Defra and the agricultural departments of the devolved administrations have released the key dates in 2020 to help farmers avoid breaching cross-compliance rules. The rules apply to all Basic Payment…


Rules on temporary slurry storage when pollution risk high

Slurry can be stored in less-permanent structures when the risk of water pollution from spreading is high, according to Environment Agency (EA) rules. Farmers in England are normally required to…


Guide to managing rats on your farm

Autumn is a time when rat populations can start taking hold on a farm as food supplies dry up in the field and cold and wet weather sets in. However,…


A guide to carrying out work on common land

As common land is used by more than one person and much of it has a national or international environmental designation, strict rules are in place to stop any works…


New pig welfare code – what producers need to know

Defra has updated its code of practice for the welfare of pigs, which includes revised guidance on issues such as enrichment, tail docking and record keeping. The code is the…


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…


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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…


Red Tractor Q&A: How are lockdown assessments working?

Lockdown has meant Red Tractor inspections have gone online. Farmers Weekly asked farmers for their queries about the process and put them to Red Tractor. How are the inspections taking…


Nematicide Red Tractor rules for farmers explained

Potato and sugar beet growers have to comply with the Best Practice Protocol for nematicides if they are part of the Red Tractor assurance scheme. The protocol, which applies to…


What farmers need to know about ash dieback

Few farm businesses will be spared the cost of dealing with ash dieback, and for those with infected trees straddling public roads, bills could run into thousands of pounds. Landowners,…


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…


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…