Beth Metson Blog
April 4, 2013
A Busy Time of Year….
Every year the Capital Grant Scheme and Single Farm Payment claims have to be done in the same working window and this year in addition to this busy time nutrient management plans have also been added to the pile due to the uncertainties in cropping and therefore nutrition requirement. These plans have had to be chopped and changed depending on decisions made and looking out the window while I am writing this, the recent layer of snow on the ground will not be helping the situation.
Those Agrii customers that have been attending our research and development days over the past few months have been hearing from me on the potential changes to the NVZ regulations which we should have confirmation and detailed guidance on any day…
There have also been lots of discussions about the changes to the farm waste exemptions which will affect the majority in September this year. Online registration of exemptions on the Environment Agency website have replaced the old paragraphs that were previously applied for to cover farmers for activities such as spreading ditch dredgings, burning hedge trimmings and storing construction materials on farm. The majority of these run out in September this year. In addition to this there are also new exemptions that apply to lots of growers out there, one in particular that stands out is the exemption required to store sewage sludge on farm before spreading.
Despite the workload I have got along to a few meetings. Myself and Matt Clark were able to attend a meeting to hear about and visit a well established central storage cooperative site last month. We learnt how in different circumstances central storage can add real value to growers. It was interesting to hear about the thought behind site locations whereby they are carefully placed on route to end markets for their customers. This means transport of grain is cleverly kept to minimum and supply chain efficiencies can be made effectively. We also heard how differently we are doing things here in the UK compared to Europe whereby UK farmers store a much higher proportion of grain on farm than in central storage facilities. At the end of the meeting we put on our hard hats and hi-vis jackets and went on a site tour. This involved a visit to the labs, a bird’s eye view of the Cambridge site to realise the scale and venturing up and down ladders to understand all the processes involved. All of this a small challenge in a skirt but we got there!
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