Please be vigilant and inspect fields thoroughly before applying slurry

“The Environment Agency have urged farmers to be particularly vigilant and to inspect their fields thoroughly before applying slurry to their land. The prolonged hot weather has left many fields with extensive surface cracks.
If care isn’t taken significant pollution could be caused as these cracks can act as a rapid pathway for slurry to enter land drains. Slurry could pollute watercourses directly if application rates are too high or could remain in the land drains after spreading only to be flushed out during wet weather at a later date causing significant pollution.

The recently introduced Reduction and Prevention of Agricultural Diffuse Pollution (England) Regulations 2018, more commonly referred to as the “Farming Rules for Water” specify that:
“a land manager must ensure that, for each application of organic manure or manufactured fertiliser to agricultural land, the application is planned so that it does not give rise to a significant risk of agricultural diffuse pollution, and that it takes into account the weather conditions and forecasts for that land at the time of the application”.

Russ Carrington retires as Herefordshire Rural Hub Director

Russ Carrington has retired as a director and long-term supporter of Herefordshire Rural Hub
We are very grateful to Russ for his support of the Hub over the past few years.

Russ continues to be active on the rural scene through his running of the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) where farmers across the UK are supported to improve their pasture-management and sell meat and milk under the ‘Pasture for Life’ certification mark. One project Russ is now heading up is working with groups of farmers to improve profitability in upland areas as funded by the Princes Countryside Fund. Alongside this he is also chairman of Rural Youth Europe, a network of rural youth organisations across 19 countries, representing around 500,000 young people from the countryside, and sees Russ attending and chairing meetings and events right around the continent. He is keen to ensure that rural areas are equipped with the knowledge, skills and future leaders to help embrace the challenges ahead.

Help to Stop the Drop

Herefordshire Council’s  Stop the Drop litter campaign is going from strength to strength with almost 300 Herefordshire businesses signed up to the Litter Pledge.  This figure includes large farms such as Haygrove Ltd, Westons Cider, Oakchurch, Court Farm and Leisure and S & A Produce.

Haygrove Ltd were one of the first businesses to sign up to the Litter Pledge. They are committed to keeping their land clear of litter and Chris Millson, Sustainability Manager had this to say about their support for the campaign:-

“Haygrove is proud to have signed up to the Stop the Drop initiative. It resonates with our view that much needs to be done to solve a litter problem that has rapidly reached crisis levels, but also with our view that much can be done!

The campaign aligns well with our existing programmes. Haygrove has set an ambitious target of sending zero waste to landfill by 2023. Working towards this goal, we have managed to increase the proportion of waste that has been recycled every year, since 2014. Last year not only did our recycling rate reach 69%, but we also saw a reduction in the total amount of waste produced – a good demonstration of our belief  that waste management starts with reduce, reuse, then recycle. But we still have a long way to go.

Our fight against waste has been positive for the environment, good for the morale of our team, and good for business. Recycling pays in many ways, but you can’t recycle unless you first Stop the Drop!”

Jane Denny, Herefordshire Council said “It’s great to see so many businesses signing up and supporting the Stop the Drop campaign. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep Herefordshire clear of litter including farmers in their role as guardians of the countryside. We’d like to encourage more farmers to sign up to the litter pledge to demonstrate their commitment to keeping the Herefordshire countryside litter free.”

The pledge can be signed online  at https://myaccount.herefordshire.gov.uk/business-litter-pledge . We’ll send you a certificate for displaying in your premises which as well as being featured on the Herefordshire Council website will collectively spread the message that litter is not acceptable. Please encourage others to do the same.

Farmers have to deal with a wide variety of waste products and this government website provides guidance on how to manage it. www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-waste-on-land-guidance-for-land-managers

Plastics form a large portion of farm waste and can be recycled via Farm Plastics Recycling http://www.farmplasticsrecycled.co.uk/i.php

More information about the Stop the Drop campaign can be found here www.herefordshire.gov.uk/stopthedrop

Impact of the Hot Weather on Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship agreements

The hot weather conditions are leading to hay crops being ready earlier than normal, or farmers wanting to alter grazing, cropping and supplementary feeding requirements due to the heatwave.

If you cannot meet agreement requirements due to adverse weather conditions, you can ask Natural England for either

  • a Derogation under Environmental Stewardship (ES) 
    Click here for ELS  Derogation form
    Click here for HLS  Derogation form

  • a Minor and Temporary Adjustment (MTA) under Countryside Stewardship (CS) – Mid/Higher Tier.
    Click  here for MTA form

Alternatively you can call Natural England CS Delivery Services 0300 060 3900

More information on MTAs is in the CS Mid Tier manual (section 6.20 on pages 64-65), and in the Higher Tier manual (section 6.21 on pages 70-71).

Agreement holders should get in contact with Natural England as soon as possible, explaining the issue and the actions they would like to take, as they need to obtain their derogation or MTA before they need to make changes to agreement management.

Where a derogation is given, such as for early cutting of hay, the agreement holder should ensure they avoid areas with ground nesting birds.

Reminder about Derogations for Cutting hedges in August

BPS claimants who wish to sow Oilseed Rape and/or Temporary Grassland in August, and who need to be able to cut hedges in those fields before 1st September, must apply for a derogation in order to avoid breaching cross compliance requirement GAEC 7a Boundaries.

Applications must be made on paper or by email to the RPA.  They have set a 15 working day response target, and you must have received your written confirmation before the work can commence. So please apply early!

The correspondence to the RPA should be clearly marked ‘Cross compliance derogation’, and should contain the following information:

Claimant name and address   /   SBI number   /   Field reference numbers

Confirmation that you wish to sow oilseed rape and/or temporary grassland on these parcels in August

If you wish to cut both sides of a hedge, you will need to list both the relevant field numbers

and be sowing oilseed rape and/or temporary grassland in both fields.

 

All paper derogation requests need to go to:  Rural Payments Agency, PO Box 352, Worksop, S80 9FG.

The letter must be clearly marked ‘Cross Compliance derogation’.

 

Email requests must be sent to:  ruralpayments@defra.gsi.gov.uk and marked ‘Cross Compliance derogation’

Ensure emails are only sent from email addresses which are registered with RPA on rural payments online

and the person sending the email is registered to the business and has permission to act for the business.

Full guidance can be found in the Guide to Cross Compliance in England 2018

NFU Lord Mayor’s Show Competition – Calling all young farmers

The NFU has launched a competition to find eight young farmers (aged 18-30 years) to represent British farming in the 2018 Lord Mayor’s Show, which takes place on Saturday 10th November in London. The NFU will be joined by Massey Ferguson to support the Worshipful Company of Farmers in this year’s show. As an additional prize this year, Massey Ferguson is inviting one of the young farmers on a special trip to Beauvais in Northern France as a guest to tour the factory and enjoy an overnight stay.

The NFU is asking for nominations for young farmers, aged 18-30, who have made an outstanding contribution to the farming sector and who are passionate about the industry.

Full details and a nomination form can be found at:-  www.nfuonline.com/news/latest-news/calling-all-young-farmers/

Nominations close on Sunday 19th August.

Protect yourself from the Blandford Fly

At this time of year Blandford flies are at their height.
They are predominantly found near bodies of water and can give a nasty bite – most commonly to the leg or ankle. Most bites are just painful and uncomfortable, but some can become infected and require medical attention.

The link below provides details of how to protect yourself against being bitten, symptoms to look out for and when to seek medical advice.

https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/news/article/540/protect_yourself_from_the_blandford_fly