Cross Compliance is getting tougher, don’t get caught out!
Spring seems to have finally made it and the soils are warming up. Let’s hope this sunshine is here to stay.
Farmers in NVZ areas are now used to the restrictions that apply to them. Conversations about NVZ usually centre on whether you are “IN” or “OUT”. This is a crucial distinction and has a big bearing on how you conduct your life. The comparison between England and Wales is stark. England is at 58% NVZ and Wales is almost zero. It does seem unfair that our farming brothers in Wales can pile on the cattle numbers and manures compared with much of England. For all that, Welsh Farmers in Tir Gofal are afflicted with some pretty onerous paperwork at least on a par with English NVZ requirements – and some fairly stiff penalties too. But NVZ is here to stay, despite recent proposed adjustments. The final confirmation of NVZ boundaries is not yet confirmed until all the appeals have been heard and the regulations laid. NVZ designations can be studied on: https://www/gov.uk/government/consultations/implementation-of-the-nitrates-directive-in-England-2013-2016. What we need to understand is that it’s water data that drives all this – and there’s certainly plenty of it! Watercourses everywhere have been subject to repeated analysis, and not just for Nitrates; plenty of other pollutants are checked out as well. When you see the EA van parked by the bridge and somebody bobbing for water you know what’s going on. We’ve gone fishing! Fishing for Nitrates. You may remember the old National Rivers Authority doing the same work; they’ve been collecting scores for decades now. Remember – this is about the quality of the water that we all depend on. If you want to look at your local area just Google “What’s in your backyard?” and follow the links.http://maps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby/wiybyController?x=357683.0&y=355134.0&scale=1&layerGroups=default&ep=map&textonly=off&lang=_e&topic=riverquality
There’s now lots of data that implicates certain areas and farmers who get letters about their local watercourses are well advised to attend the local meetings. Read on:
We have been involved in this NVZ issue for over 10 years now and the pattern is clear: some watercourses always have much higher Nitrate scores than others; it’s trends like this that lead to catchment-sensitive designations, farm visits and invitations to meetings in your local village hall. We have a client who ignored the friendly village hall invitation last Winter, all his neighbours attended and he got an inspection, but they didn’t. Yes, you worked it out – Musical Chairs, NVZ style! But back to the watercourse quality, you quite often see higher N levels associated with higher Phosphate readings as well. Now Phosphate is not yet subject to anything similar to Nitrates so you can relax about that one at the moment. Nitrates are different, EU legislation compels our Government to tackle this and – quite naturally – they are looking for the troublesome places. Some watercourses often yield Nitrate concentrations around 50 ppm. This is danger level, water abstractions have to be blended to get the average down for human consumption and change is always slow. This means no hiding place for farmers. This is why some districts seem to get more attention. We did a farm inspection recently which was triggered by the N levels in the river, and they went through all the farmyard things like silage pit effluent, slurry storage, dairy chemicals etc. All was well, but the clear lesson was that watercourses are the lead factor in many areas. Your farmyard may be squeaky clean, perhaps you have no livestock even, maybe you are a very long way away from the river. No matter. You are catchment. And if you pollute - you’ve gone too far. Agriculture is still considered to be a major factor in Nitrate water levels. Wales can smile at the purity of its water (all those mountains!) but England cannot.
It seems Spring is finally here, with calving well under way.
Don’t forget to register births with BCMS within 27 days.
They must also be notified about a movement within 3 days and a death within 7 days.
To register on line with BCMS - click on the following link: https://secure.services.defra.gov.uk/wps/portal/ctso or call the CTS self service Line that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This can be used to register cattle births, deaths and movements (as long as the animal has a UK numeric ear tag). 0845 011 1212 (English Language) or 0845 011 1213 (Welsh Language)
‘’Cattle keepers are holding their position at the forefront of electronic reporting. Figures from the Rural Payments Agency’s British Cattle Movement Service show the bar was raised yet again in the past month with a record-breaking proportion of movements – 95.49% - reported online or on the self service phone line. Almost 90% of births and 70% of deaths were also reported electronically.
RPA’s BCMS manages 20 million cattle transactions every year, broken down into 3 million births, 14 million movements and 3 million deaths. The self-service phone line and online service are available 24-7’’
“These cattle figures are impressive, no doubt, but when is the national sheep flock going to get an electronic reporting system?”
We recently invested in new mapping software to map all new farms to have more accurate and detailed Manure and Soil Risk maps. We will also start the process of re-mapping all old maps for current clients. This requires digital RPA maps to be sent out electronically, we will be asking for a signature on the SP9 form required to obtain the maps. This form does not allow us to access any of your Single Farm Payment information.
We would like to extend a warm welcome to our latest new employee to join the CXCS team.
← Sarah Williams from Thruxton in Hereford has joined the team and is settling in well. Sarah’s training will be focussing on administration and the marketing side of the business.
If you have dry stone wall on your land, you should:
You should never remove a dry stone wall or remove stone from it, except in special circumstances.
You will not break these rules if you have removed a stone wall or stone from a wall for one of the following reasons:
We are having a stand at this year’s Livestock Event on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th July, 8am to 6pm.
Please come and visit us at the NEC in Birmingham, Stand BM144 for advice and help on any cross compliance issues.
There are free coaches running from 20 points across the UK, for information visit http://www.livestockevent.co.uk/book-tickets/coach-travel or ring 0845 458 2711.
We are finalising our plans for assisting our clients with Farm Assurance. If you detest all this Farm Assurance paperwork do you fancy helping us for a while and giving us feedback?
Is there anyone out there who would like to get involved in our development on this?
We need to test our ideas and make them strong. Give us a ring on 01981 590 514.
Many farms have their own water supply and have been saving money for years. We support this and are aware just how much water cattle get through – this would cost plenty through the mains.
We can test farm water supplies very cheaply now and tell farmers exactly what is going on.
Give us a ring on 01981 590 514 for further details.
See you next month,
All the best,
GAEC 1. Do your review of the Soil Protection Review - it could cost you 5% of single payment if you don't.
GAEC 19. Effective from 1st January 2012
Applies to all farmers in England, even those not in an NVZ.
YOU MUST NOT
IF YOU APPLY ORGANIC MANURE YOU MUST
If you have land in an NVZ and you are meeting the requirements under SMR4 NVZs, you will also meet the rules under this standard in respect of that land.
SMR 7. Make sure you get Cattle records and movements correct. This is still the area of highest failures.
Make sure that you renew your linked holdings with BCMS each year, before they expire.
Make sure you renew any waste exemptions that now need to move over to the new exemptions registration system with the Environment Agency.
All farmers should now have received a copy of the Guide to Cross Compliance in England 2012 edition. Make sure that you are aware of the rules & regulations, and are compliant with any of the changes which have recently come in.
We have been doing files and inspections for 5 years now and it’s relevant to examine why farmers fail their Cross Compliance inspections. All too often we discover that there is lots of information on the farm about manures and top dressing and so on. Sometimes this is top quality data and sometimes it’s a bit ripe and rural. Either way, farmers have diligently done their best to comply with the paperwork, done what they can and then promptly failed their inspection. We have just discovered a case recently where the lack of NVZ records led directly to a deduction from the Single Farm Payment. It wasn’t because there was no paper; they just couldn’t get the records into a good enough shape to inspect. When we were handed the job (a month too late) we discovered good calculations of manures etc that simply didn’t see the light of day when the Environment Agency wanted them.
Was it a communication problem? Did they fully understand what was wanted? We’re not sure. What we are sure about is the drill that the inspectors use. They want certain items, in a certain order, done to a standard.
Understanding that is the key to success. We call it “dinner on a plate” for inspectors. Serve up an accurate report, prepared the way they like it, and you can say “Bon Appetit!”
May 2013 Newsletter - Hello Spring
March 2013 Newsletter - Happy Easter
February 2013 Newsletter - Expected Changes to Regulations
January 2013 Newsletter - Happy New Year
December 2012 Newsletter - Inspections...
November 2012 Newsletter - Mud on the road...
October 2012 Newsletter - More rain...
September 2012 Newsletter - Soil Protection, Meet the Team and more...
August 2012 Newsletter - NVZ New Areas, Reports and Job Positions
July 2012 Newsletter - Where there's muck, there's money!.
May 2012 Newsletter - It's now wet, seriously wet.
April 2012 Newsletter - The Season is upon us.
March 2012 Newsletter - Land At Your Disposal & We Need A Junior Member of Staff
February 2012 Newsletter - John, There's someone down in the big meadow by the ditch
Mid-January 2012 Newsletter - Changes Afoot
January 2012 Newsletter - Happy New Year!
December 2011 Newsletter - A Busy Bear
November 2011 Newsletter - Rights of Way
October 2011 Newsletter - Invisible Pigs
September 2011 Newsletter - Inspection Time
August 2011 Newsletter - Inspection season is upon us!!
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