Non-compliance still costing farmers
Failures of cross compliance inspections in 2012 have recently been published by the RPA (www.rpa.defra.gov.uk). The results show poor record keeping was the major factor in cross compliance breaches costing farmers £1.4 million in reductions to their Single Payment Scheme (SPS). Changes have been made to cross compliance rules in the past year, primarily around NVZ regulations, no spread zones and cattle ID rules.
The Good News
The figures show a slight reduction in the total number of failures from 2,046 in 2011 to 1,947 last year.
Animal related SMRs still top failures
The highest number of breaches (670) was among cattle keepers for failing to report deaths or movement of their animals. Problems were also shown with movements not being recorded in farm records.
The Bad News
The number of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) failings almost trebled in 2012, incomplete records being the main breach. Additionally, the number of failings for not having or incorrectly completing a Soil Protection Review nearly doubled. The majority of these failures received a minimum 5% SPS reduction, worth approximately £11/ha.
Other areas where breaches have increased include obstructions on public rights of way (GAEC 8) and inappropriate cultivation and pesticide use in field boundary protection zones (GAEC 14).
There were failures for the new GAEC 19 rules, no spread zones, these rules are particularly relevant for farmers outside NVZ designations but using organic manures. For this failures were down to spreading organic manure without a risk map and storing muck far too close to watercourses.
How Can We Help
The average inspection fine for the key failures identified in this article sits between 3 – 5% of the SPS which is worth approximately £10/ha.
Agrii have a dedicated team of environment and compliance specialists giving you advice and support alongside your Agrii contacts. This team offers advice through a Farm Auditing Service. This is an on farm health-check tailored to your farm business to assess and evaluate farm compliance and identify where SPS risks lie.
Would I benefit from this service?
- Have you completed the required risk maps (SPR, NVZ, GAEC 19)?
- Have you completed the 4 step Nitrogen Management Plan which must be completed prior to any fertiliser application of any form to your land (NVZ)?
- Have you included all organic manures in your Nutrient Management Plan?
- Have you completed your Soil Protection Review correctly for cross compliance?
If you have answered ‘no’ to any of the questions and are interested in knowing more about our auditing service, please get in touch with Beth Metson on 07545 927 474 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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