CLA welcomes flexibility to spread in NVZs

18 October 2013

The CLA today (27 September) welcomed the Government's decision to allow farmers to spread slurry and manure in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) during part of the normal closed period due to unprecedented rainfall in September.

Farmers in England and Wales are banned from using slurry and manure in NVZs during closed periods because of a greater risk of causing nitrate pollution to watercourses and groundwater. However, the Environment Agency (EA) is to allow spreading to take place until 15 October for tillage land and 31 October for grassland.

 CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "The recent heavy rainfall will make it very difficult to meet the original closed period deadline. The extension for applying manure and slurry to fields with heavier soil will help farmers manage their applications without having to rush to complete the work under current extreme weather conditions.

"However, it is important they follow the Defra and EA guidance during this two week period otherwise they could still be in breach of EA regulations."

The CLA President urged farmers and land managers to read the updated advice and guidance for spreading during extreme weather conditions available on the Environment Agency's website.