Apply now for capital grants to prevent water pollution in Wales

Posted by LindaStenner on February 9, 2021

Apply now for capital grants to prevent water pollution in Wales

February 09, 2021 at 11:37 AM

Farm businesses looking to invest on their farms to meet the requirements of The Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) (Wales) Regulations 2021 which comes into effect in April can apply for funding under Welsh Government’ s Sustainable Production Grant.

The  new regulations establish baseline standards for production in Wales comparable to those in the rest of the UK and Europe and will require nutrient management planning, sustainable fertiliser applications linked to the requirement of the crop, protection of water from pollution related to when, where and how fertilisers are spread and manure and silage storage standards.

With such dramatic changes being introduced from April 1, the Welsh government has made available an additional £1.5 million to help farmers improve water quality and £11.5 million of capital funding will be used to directly support farm businesses to improve on farm nutrient management infrastructure.

In this seventh expression of interest grants of £12,000 to £50,000 will provide a maximum 40 per cent contribution towards capital investments in equipment and machinery identified to help farmers address nutrient management and improve water, soil and air quality by reducing pollution.

A list of the eligible capital investment items is available to view on Sustainable Production Grant | Sub-topic | GOV.WALES

“The three-stage application process begins with the Expression of Interest (EOI) via RPW Online which is open for six weeks from February 1 to March 12 followed by appraisal of submitted plans and supporting documents if your EOI is selected,” said land agent Kathryn Williams, director at Davis Meade Property Consultants.

“If you are offered a contract following selection of your EOI and successful appraisal of supporting plans and documents, all investment items in the contract must be purchased,” Kathryn said.

Projects requiring planning permission will not receive any grant until the planning documents have been submitted and verified by Welsh Government.

“We are reminding tenant farmers to check who is responsible for payment of infrastructure improvements on the holding  as in some Agricultural Holding Act tenancies the landlords will be responsible,” Kathryn added.

Further regulations come into force in 2023 and 2024 including strict rules on slurry storage and limits on spreading organic manure which may require investment into larger slurry and manure storage facilities.

Dates when individual Pollution Control measures will apply: 

From April 1, 2021:

Storage of manure and silage

  • 14 days’ notice must be given to NRW before construction begins on a new or improved slurry or silage store (this change applies from 28 April).
  • Installations that were in use or built before March 1991 or where a contract for construction was entered into before March and completed before September 1991 are "exempt structures".
  • An old store may be used, but the storage capacity requirements of these Regulations must still be met by 1 August 2024.

Controlling the spreading of nitrogen fertiliser

  • If you intend to spread nitrogen fertiliser you must first inspect the field to consider the risk of nitrogen getting into surface water.
  • You must not spread nitrogen fertiliser on land if there is a significant risk of nitrogen getting into surface water, taking into account factors such as weather and slope. Mandatory buffer zones will be established (as per existing cross compliance requirements).

Closed periods for spreading manufactured nitrogen fertiliser

  • on grassland, from September 15 to  January 15
  • on tillage land, from September 1 to  January 15

Incorporation of manure

  • Organic manure applied to bare soil must be incorporated within 24 hours in most circumstances.

From  January 1,  2023

Risk Maps

  • If you intend to spread manure on the holding you must produce and maintain a risk map which highlights the areas on which spreading may cause pollution, including buffer zones and surface waters.
  • Sites suitable for field heaps should be marked if manure is to be stored in field heaps.

Storage of Organic Manure

  • Other than slurry, any organic manure must be stored:  in a vessel; in a covered building; on an impermeable surface; or  in a free standing temporary field heap

Temporary Field Heaps

  • Rules on the placement of manure field heaps will apply to minimise the risk of any leaching and run off reaching waterbodies.

Nutrient Management Planning

  • A Nutrient Management Plan must be established for any nitrogen fertiliser application, which includes the soil nitrogen supply and the requirement of the crop.

Import/Export of Manure

  • Any import/export of manure onto/off the holding must be recorded.

Nutrient applications

  • Fertiliser applications must not exceed specified crop limits.
  • Fertiliser must be applied as accurately as possible and spreading trajectory must be below 4 meters from the ground.

Records

  • Records associated with Nutrient Management Plans and fertiliser applications must be kept.
  • Exemptions from certain requirements will apply to extensive farms.

Holding limit

  • A limit of 250kg per individual hectare is applied to the spreading of organic manure for any 12 month rolling period.
  • No more than 170kg of nitrogen from manure can be applied each year, averaged across the holding, either directly deposited by the animal or by spreading.

From  August 1, 2024

Closed periods for the spreading of slurry and other manures but not farmyard manure (certain exemptions will apply)

  • Soil Type: Grassland Tillage land Sandy or shallow soil  September 1 to  December 31 August 1 to  December 31;  All other soils: October 15 to January 15  October 1 to  January 31
  • Spreading after the closed period until the end of February will be limited to 30 cubic metres per hectare (8 tonnes per hectare of poultry manure) at any one time, and there must be at least three weeks between each spreading.

Slurry Storage capacity

  • Five months of slurry storage will be required for any slurry produced by any livestock, other than pigs or poultry.
  • For slurry produced by pigs and poultry, 6 months of slurry storage will be required.
  • Irrespective of the minimum storage requirement, you must ensure you have sufficient storage available to enable you to comply with the other requirements of the regulations.

For further information or help with an EOI application contact Kathryn Williams on 01691 659658 or mobile 07971583638 or email kathrynwilliams@dmpcuk.com.

 

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