i) Environment Agency publish new guidance on organic manure in England
In an attempt to allow farmers in England more time to adjust to the Farming Rules for Water being introduced in 2022, the Environment Agency has published its Regulatory Position Statement (PRS) 252 which sets out strict guidelines for the spreading of organic manure.
While farmers will be allowed to spread organic manure beyond the immediate needs of the crop but not exceeding the needs for the entire crop cycle, they will be required to demonstrate that spreading is the only option available for disposal.
From 1st March 2022, these exemptions will expire and the spreading of manure will be banned if it exceeds the crop needs or risks serious water pollution.
ii) New Woodland Creation Scheme in England untrusted by farmers
The new England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) has received around £16 million in funding to encourage farmers and land managers to plant more trees and meet the UK Government targets.
However, a poll carried out by The Farming Forum revealed that 59% of respondents would not trust any Government tree planting scheme. The scheme, it seems, aims to create large forestry plantations without taking into account changes in land value, restrictions on reverting land back to grassland or other tree planting initiatives such as agroforestry.
iii) Gower Salt Marsh Lamb receives GI status
Gower Salt Marsh Lamb has become the first UK food product to receive protected status through the new Geographical Indication (GI) scheme which was introduced after the end of the Brexit Transition Period.
Recognition as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product will allow producers of lamb on the Gower Peninsula to demonstrate and protect traditional agricultural practices and unique characteristics of the meat.
There are now a total of 17 GI protected products in Wales.