New farming rules for water come into force from April 2018. There are eight rules, five about managing fertilisers and manures and three on managing soils. The fertiliser rules require farmers to test their soils, then plan and apply their fertiliser or manure to improve soil nutrient levels and meet crop needs. They include minimum storage and spreading distances from water bodies. They also require the farmer to assess weather and soil conditions to reduce the risk of runoff and soil erosion. The remaining rules require farmers to manage livestock by protecting land within five metres of water and reducing livestock poaching.
The majority of the rules are already covered within existing regulations and cross compliance requirements, but there is a new requirement to test soils on cultivated land every five years. If you would like any more information please do not hesitate to contact one of our team at WebbPaton who will be happy to help.