UK SOIL COMPLIANCE Are you up-to-date?
The two key legislative documents are the Cross Compliance UK (CCUK2020) and the Diffuse Pollution in Agriculture 2019 (DPIA 2019).
The new funding plans as of 2021 BPS will expand and by 2025 BPS will end and all payments will process under The ELM's program.
Environmental Land Management POLICY UPDATE
ELM is presently trialed with 125 framers. The government published a future farming policy update, Feb 26 as the Agriculture Bill goes through the Committee Stage in the House of Commons. This sets out how future policies will be designed to ensure increased productivity goes hand in hand with environmental initiatives.
Afinal consultation is underway to conclude May 2020 with following evaluation period and finalisation of ELM.
At this point it seems there will be 3 tiers of funding, covering small holder's through larger council and corporate co-operative schemes
Productivity: From 2021, new government grants will help farmers to invest in equipment and technology which will help them to increase their productivity and deliver environmental benefits.
Research & Development: From 2022, Defra will support research and development projects to help our farming industry benefit from innovation, enabling farmers to produce food more efficiently and sustainably with lower emissions.
Animal Health and Welfare: A new deal will be struck between government and farmers to promote the production of healthier, higher welfare animals, with publicly-funded schemes available for farmers to deliver animal health and welfare enhancements which go beyond regulatory requirements and which are valued by the public but not sufficiently provided for by the market.
Soil has been overlooked in environment policy in recent decades. However, the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan states that:
England’s soils must be managed sustainably by 2030
Steps must be taken towards restoring the UK’s soils
A new system of public money for public goods will reward farmers for environmental outcomes such as emphasising healthy soils. There is a huge opportunity if the new Environmental Land Management scheme is properly funded to incentivise farmers by rewarding them for protecting and regenerating soils.
Contamination of soils is often thought to be a thing of the past. However, new and emerging chemicals and waste management practices bring new regulatory challenges and environmental risks. The first step towards understanding these risks and challenges is to understand our soils and how they’re changing.
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NITRATE VULNERABLE ZONES (NVZ)
With the advent of the end of BPS and the separation from the EU CAP, UK land managers will now have to change their practices to really account for their soil as in the near future all payments will be tied to sustainability actions.
These that are presently NVZ and those that are DWSZ are going to need to look to supply actionable data for future ELM'd claims.
In 2018, the government through DEFRA and EA introduced new Farming Rules for Water focusing on best fertiliser practice, this to reduce leaching. DPIA 2018 (Rescaype® does this very well).
The rules focus on the storage and application of manure and artificial fertiliser and keeping livestock away from water courses to prevent soil erosion and diffuse pollution. Most of the rules are covered by existing guidelines such as cross compliance, however the rule on soil testing is new and is the one that you may be least familiar with;
“You must plan in advance each application of organic manure or manufactured fertiliser to cultivated agricultural land to meet soil and crop needs and not exceed these levels.”
Fertiliser planning now needs to take into account the risks of pollution across your entire farm as well as the results of your soil tests.
The legal requirement is to test your soil, on cultivated land, a minimum of every five years.
Soil testing is required for:
As of 2021, BPS scheme to end. Replaced with ELMS.
Farmers in England will see Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) funding phased out and new agri-environment funding rolled in over a seven-year transition period under proposals outlined in the Agriculture Bill.
BPS money will be reduced in stages from 2021-2027, with none available in 2028. The cuts have been announced for 2021 but no figures are available beyond that.
Businesses receiving up to £30,000 in BPS will face a reduction of up to 5%, with those receiving £150,000 or more seeing a reduction of 25% in 2021.
The new ELMs plan also referred to as Environmental Land Management scheme, began its test and trial period in 2019, with pilots planned to run from 2021.
Defra’s ambition is for 1,250 businesses to enter the ELMs pilot scheme in 2021, building to 15,000 by the end of the pilots in 2024.
ELMs will replace BPS and Countryside Stewardship funding and its roll-out is planned from 2025-2027.
According to a National Audit Office report published in June 2019, Defra aims to have enrolled 82,500 farmers and land managers by 2028.
As of 16/01/2020, the Agriculture Bill made passage through Parliament.
ADDING ORGANIC MATTER ALONE DOES NOT PREVENT LEACHING FROM HAPPENING.
Many farmers already comply with most of these rules voluntarily or through cross compliance for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) or Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) rules.
These rules stand for everyone, with no exceptions, and will bring all farmers up to the same basic standard of good practice, including those that do not receive BPS or are not in an NVZ.
The new ELMS payment process is looking to be changed to even more direct sustainability targets for soil security.
Compaction in travel-ways and bed rows is a prime cause of soil loss.
Tree Roots exposed = Serious Soil Erosion
Rescaype® is an excellent way to secure all soil areas.
Reduce bank slippage on waterways.
Reduce Compaction =
Reduce Fertiliser Leaching
Rescaype® improves the value of added new organic matter, though amelioration of matter nutrients with soil and mineral bridging.