Warwickshire Rural Hub
Legislation & Regulation
New EU Plant Health Regulations
The new EU Plant Health Regulation is due to come into force on 14 December 2019. This Regulation will require all plants being moved within the EU to have a plant passport, and any plants being imported into the EU to have a phytosanitary certificate. The new rules aim to modernise the plant health regime, enhancing more effective measures for the protection of the EU’s territory and its plants. They also aim to ensure safe trade, as well as to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the health of our crops and forests. Further information is available on this page.
EA position on flexible abstraction of water
The Environment Agency has updated its position on flexible abstraction for managing water during periods of dry weather. Farmers should talk to the Environment Agency at the earliest opportunity about any flexible abstraction options they would like to pursue. At present, flexing is likely to be limited to the refilling of winter storage reservoirs outside the licensed refill period and irrigating to lift crops, if environmental conditions allow. Visit this page for further information.
Abstraction Licence required for trickle or drip irrigation
Irrigation by trickle and drip methods now requires an abstraction licence. The Government has made it clear that it recognises previously exempt activities as lawful and it has therefore put special provisions in place to make it easier than usual for those needing to apply for a licence. These special provisions for licence applications apply only during the current transitional period which ends on 31 December 2019 but the Environment Agency is urging farmers to apply by 1 October. You can apply for your abstraction licence here.
Advice on Farming Rules for Water
Advice on how to manage fertiliser, manure and soil to prevent run-off, leaching and erosion and meet the new Farming Rules for Water are available on the Gov.uk website.
Farming Rules for Water
The new Farming Rules for Water will be enforceable from 2 April 2019. The rules standardise good farming practices that many farmers are already demonstrating following on from the Codes of Good Agricultural Practice. The rules are separate from cross-compliance. Full details of the new rules are available here.
Key dates for BPS, CS and ES
The Rural Payments Agency has put together a timeline of the important dates for 2019 to be aware of for Basic Payments Scheme, Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship. The dates and further information are available on the RPA website. Alternatively you can download the calendar here.
BPS and Greening requirements for 2019
In common with previous years, the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will run for the full calendar year (1 January to 31 December 2019). Those who are intending to claim BPS for 2019 will be required to comply with the BPS requirements for the entire year, despite the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) in March 2019. This includes cross compliance and greening requirements.
Download the Guide to Cross Compliance in England 2019
The new guide to Cross Compliance rules in England for 2019 can be downloaded here.
There are no confirmed policy changes to the rules for 2019. However, please be aware that for SMR 1 Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) land that was in an NVZ for the first time in 2017, transitional arrangements have been in place to not meet some of the NVZ rules. These arrangements come to an end in July 2019, when the requirement to meet all the NVZ rules starts on 31 July 2019. For more information read SMR 1: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones on page 39 of the guide.
Updated information on riparian rights
Updated information on your responsibilities and rules to follow for watercourses on or near your property, and permissions you need to do work around them, have been placed on the Gov.uk website. Visit the link below to view the information.
New rules for fertilizer management to protect water quality
From April 2018 all farmers in England will need to follow a new set of farming rules for water. New regulations will now be made which will give these rules legal force from then. The rules will:
• promote good practice in managing fertilisers and manures through eight rules covering planning and use, storage and application of fertilisers and manures and soil erosion measures
• encourage land managers to take reasonable precautions to prevent diffuse pollution from runoff or soil erosion
• require soil tests at least every 5 years on cultivated land
• protect land within 5 metres of watercourses from significant soil erosion by preventing poaching by livestock.
Further details can be found on the website below.
Enhanced TB control measures
From November 2017 enhanced TB control measures will be introduced to reduce the risk posed by inconclusive skin test reactors. This follows on from a consultation held in 2016.
All inconclusive reactors (IRs) in the High Risk Area (HRA) and Edge Area (and in TB breakdown herds in the Low Risk Area) that have a negative result on re-testing will remain restricted for the rest of their life to the holding in which they were found. The only permitted off movements for such animals will be to slaughter (either directly or via an Approved Finishing Unit).
Warwickshire re-classified as fully in the Edge Area for TB
Following a public Defra TB consultation held in 2016, and an informal consultation held in October 2017, Defra has announced enhanced cattle measures in the Edge Area; which will take effect from January 2018.
The changes from January 2018 include re-classification of Edge Area counties. The following part Edge, part High Risk Area split counties will be re-classified as fully in the Edge Area
Warwickshire and Oxfordshire
East Sussex, Derbyshire and Cheshire
Government announces plans to introduce trickle irrigation licensing
Defra has announced plans to end water abstraction licensing exemptions in England and Wales. It is expected that these changes will be made shortly, opening a two year abstraction licence application window on 1 January 2018.
It is estimated that 5,000 existing operations will require an abstraction licence for the first time and expected that most applicants will successfully secure abstraction licences that meet their historic needs. Exempt operators such as trickle irrigators will have two years to submit their licence application with effect from 1 January 2018. The licence determination process must be completed within five years of the application window opening.
Reminder on water abstraction licences
If your current water abstraction licence is due to expire, and you want to continue to abstract, you need to apply for a new licence at least 3 months before the existing licence expires.
For more information on applying for a water abstraction licence, please visit the website below.
EU vote not to block changes to greening rules
The EU Parliament has voted not to block proposed changes to greening and other elements of BPS rules. The ban on the use of plant protection products on field-based Ecological Focus Area options will therefore come into force. No timescale has been given.
Please be reminded that Dewlap tags, which are inserted through the dewlap of cattle, are legally classed as a mutilation (Animal Welfare Act 2006). Using the dewlap tag is therefore illegal and if farms are found to be using these tags at an RPA or APHA inspection it will be considered a rectifiable breach and will incur a penalty.
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