Following an update last month on the Agricultural Pollution Regulations the Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, is today reminding farmers of the next phase of the regulations which will come into force in January 2023, while also publishing a consultation on a licensing scheme.
In October the Minister announced a short extension to the implementation of the 170kg/ha annual holding nitrogen limit from livestock manures until April 2023, and committed to a consultation this autumn on a licensing scheme, to run until 2025, whereby any farm business can apply for a licence for a higher annual holding nitrogen limit of up to 250kg/ha subject to crop need and other legal considerations.
This proposed licensing scheme is part of the package of measures the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru agreed in October to progress the implementation of the Co-operation Agreement commitment on agricultural pollution.
Up to £20m was also announced in October to support compliance with the regulations, which is in addition to the current package of support through transitional schemes and significant training and advice opportunities.
Phase 2 of the regulations come into force on 1 January 2023, with the exception of the 170kg/ha nitrogen limit. The additional actions farmers need to take to reduce pollution and improve water and air quality include:
- Nutrient Management Plans
- Storage for organic manures (other than slurry), including increased measures for temporary field sites
- Risk Maps
- Control on the spread of nitrogen fertilizer
The Minister said:
“I would urge all farmers to ensure they are ready for the next phase of the Agricultural Pollution Regulations which will come into force in Wales in January. Farming Connect and our helpline will be able to provide advice if there are any queries on what is required, and there will be information at our stand at the Winter Fair.
“Today we are publishing the consultation on a licensing scheme where a farm business, in certain circumstances, could apply for a higher holding nitrogen limit of up to 250 kg/ha until 2025. I encourage all those interested to read the consultation and share their views.
“Alongside accelerated work to look at potential alternative technological solutions I remain committed through the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru to working with the farming community in the deployment of the regulations to improve water and air quality, taking an approach targeted at those activities known to cause pollution.”
The 12-week consultation opens today and is available here https://gov.wales/nutrient-management-managing-application-livestock-manures-sustainably