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MPs investigate farm fertiliser spreading rules

26 November 2021

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee will be holding a public evidence session in January to investigate the rules English farmers must follow on spreading manure or fertiliser on fields – known as the ‘Farming Rules for Water’.  

The Farming Rules for Water aim to tackle water pollution caused by excess application of fertiliser spread on fields (known as ‘diffuse pollution’). These rules are enforced by the Environment Agency (EA) and the guidance for farmers on what they need to do to comply with the regulation can be found here.

The EFRA Committee has written to the EA about these regulations following concern from farmers about the impact the rules are having on their ability to spread organic manure in the autumn to prepare for spring crops. You can read our letter here and the EA response here.

Given that there appears to still be disagreement between the sector and the regulator, the Committee has decided to hold a one-off evidence session on these issues. The Committee would like to hear from stakeholders to inform the session.  In particular, the Committee would like your views on:

  • What impact, if any, is the EAs implementation of Farming Rules for Water preventing farmers from spreading organic fertiliser?
  • Are there change that should be made to the rules - or how they are applied?
  • What are the best ways of preventing agricultural diffuse pollution?

The EFRA Committee is asking for written submissions to the inquiry to be received by 10 December.

A guide to submitting evidence to the Committee can be found here.

Further information

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