Prevention Regulations: help available for farmers to prepare for
the new nitrates regulations
ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS News Release (News Release ref
:330/08) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 15 October 2008
A national package
of advice and support for farmers preparing for the new Nitrate
Pollution Prevention Regulations has been launched by Defra. The
regulations come into force on 1 January 2009 and update the
UK's implementation of the 1991 EU Nitrates Directive.
Around 60 per cent of nitrate pollution in water is caused by
agriculture, and it is vital that this is tackled to protect and
sustain the quality of the UK's drinking water. Farmers with
land located in a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) will receive a
letter within the next few days about how the new rules will
affect them. As NVZs now cover almost 70 per cent of England,
farmers who do not receive this letter should find out if they are
in an NVZ using the detailed maps available on the Defra website.
The package of advice and support aimed at helping those with
land within NVZs to meet the new regulations includes:
* A helpline that answers technical queries from farmers and
advisers. The telephone number is 0845 345 1302 (Monday - Friday,
7am - 7pm until 31 March 2009). Calls will be charged at the local rate.
* Information events for farmers and advisers. The events are
being organised throughout NVZs in England. Invitations are being
sent out but you can find out about events in your region through
the helpline and at: http://www.crosscompliance.org.uk/cms/nvz
or ring 0845 345 1302 to book on to an event.
* NVZ guidance leaflets covering different aspects of the new
rules, which will become available in the coming days on the Defra
website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/water/quality/nitrate
. Printed copies will be available at events.
* Software tools developed to provide extra help with some of the
calculations required under the new rules. These are available
free of charge by visiting http://www.planet4farmers.co.uk
or telephoning 08456 023864. Notes to Editors
1. More information on the Nitrates Pollution Prevention
Regulations 2008 is available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/water/quality/nitrate
2. Defra is working closely with representatives from farming
industry organisations to develop a technical case to support an
application to the European Commission for a derogation from the
livestock manure N farm limit of 170 kg N/ha/yr. If the
application is successful, we will be able to set a higher limit
(e.g. 230 - 250 kg N/ha/yr) in relation to eligible farms (e.g.
70% of farm is grassland and livestock are cattle).
3. Slurry storage facilities are eligible for plant and machinery
allowances such as the new Annual Investment Allowance, capped at
£50,000 per year, included in this year's Finance Bill.
Slurry pits also qualify for allowances in their own right under
the Capital Allowances Act 2001. We are also allowing up to three
years for those who may need to construct a new slurry store to
comply with the minimum manure storage requirements.
4. If farmers need to make changes to manure storage facilities
it could be useful to adopt anaerobic digestion as a solution.
This innovative technology can be used to produce biogas, which
could provide a source of energy and additional income. The
treated manure can be returned to the soil and provide a valuable
source of nutrients. Defra is working with industry partners to
develop a plan for promoting greater uptake of anaerobic digestion.
Public enquiries 08459 335577;
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