No need for premature NVZ action plan, farmers say
NFU Cymru Clwyd County Chairman Ivor Beech said, ’We discussed the Welsh Government’s NVZ consultation, which proposes changes to some of the key measures introduced to the NVZ action plan in 2008. The minimal pressure from agricultural nitrate is reflected in Wales where only 2.3% of the agricultural area is being proposed for designation but a good proportion of this area is here in Clwyd. Our response to the consultation will be to question the necessity to include the proposed areas in the designation now that we have the European Water Framework Directive, which takes a much more holistic approach.
’Another significant concern and potential cost to farmers across the whole of Wales is the proposal to alter the silage, slurry and agricultural fuel oil regulations. This is being proposed without clear evidence that pollution is resulting from older storage systems and if implemented could see farmers up and down Wales being forced to invest huge sums of money to improve slurry, silage and fuel stores without any clear evidence to show that this is justified or even needed.
’From a more positive viewpoint, the commitment to review record-keeping requirements for farms that present low risk of nitrate pollution is a welcome change as is the reduction from a ten to a six metre buffer near watercourses for precise application of manures,’ Mr Beech added.
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