River Coly pollution prompts correspondent to offer ideas and discuss a fair deal for farmers

On River Pollution

A correspondent notes draft Welsh regulations contain several policy ideas on slurry including

– 14 days notice before construction begins on a new or improved slurry or silage store

– Sufficient sufficient storage for all slurry produced on the holding for the regulatory storage period

– Maintenance of a “Risk Map” showing all the fields, all surface waters, boreholes etc, areas with shallow or sandy soils, land with an incline of greater than 12⁰ , land drains, and sites of temporary field heaps (TFH) (if used)

See these two references: draft Welsh proposals here and a short blog discussion here.

The correspondent noted that there’s a public consultation on Reforming Regulation : deadline of 11 June 2020 where such ideas can be submitted by organisations or members of the public.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reforming-regulation-initiative

Giving Farmers a fair deal

The correspondent goes on to say that if farmers are going to incur regulatory costs we need to support them in making a decent income. Britain needs a proper national food strategy that supports smaller traders, local economies, community benefits and sustainable practices and supports farm gate prices through a Groceries Code Adjudicator, cooperatives like the Milk Marketing Board, and invests in and promotes skills, technology, market access and innovation as part of a long term plan. All rural-proofed. 

The current agriculture bill supports landowning, not farming. The Tories voted down amendments to protect prices and standards in British farming.

(Tory MP Neil Parish’s amendment to ensure agriculture imports adhere to UK animal health and welfare, environment and environmental standards was rejected by 328 votes to 277, majority 51 in an electronic vote last night. The move against Parish’s amendment will once again raise fears that the UK could water down its standards as it strikes post-Brexit free trade deals.)