"Importantly, on May 17, 2013, Defra decided to extend the closed periods
where farmers are unable to spread livestock manure by two weeks to January 31," said James.
NEW research has shown that, except for sandy/shallow soils, extending the closed winter period for spreading slurry would reduce soil leaching of nitrates.
Defra has instructed the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to take into account the Environment Agency's (EA) guidance for farmers with livestock, which will allow the spreading of slurry as a last resort for farms during the first two weeks of the normal closed periods
FUW county executive officer Gareth Wyn Jones said the union would fight the proposals which include extended closed periods
for organic manure, increased storage requirements for livestock manure - 22 weeks for slurry - and a whole farm limit for livestock manures not to exceed I7okg/ha of total nitrogen each calendar year.
"Defra's consultation offered the choice between longer closed periods
and a reduced maximum application in the weeks after the closed period
The new Nitrate Vulnerable Zones regulations, which come into force at the start of next year, introduce amended closed periods
during which manures containing 'highly available' nitrogen (N), such as slurry and poultry manures, cannot be applied within NVZs.
Other views include the introduction of "closed periods
" across all soil types and an increase in the length of "closed period
" restrictions and a requirement for increased storage capacity for slurry, to cover the revised closed periods
The closed period
for training was passed at Special Congress last year.