Speak to the local Environment Agency before spreading
The NFU has been in contact with the Environment Agency regarding difficulties some farmers faced emptying slurry stores safely before the start of 15 October NVZ closed period deadline.
The EA’s focus is to avoid or minimise soil damage and/or water pollution that can occur if slurry is spread in unfavourable soil and/or weather conditions. It is also important that stores do not overspill and become a point-source of water pollution.
If your store is at risk of causing pollution and you cannot avoid spreading when you think there is a risk of slurry runoff, run-through to land drains or leaching, or you will breach an NVZ condition, farmers are urged to contact the Environment Agency as soon as possible to discuss options. You should also contact the Environment Agency well in advance if you think this scenario is likely to happen at any time during the closed period, or after the closed period when soil conditions are still unlikely to have sufficiently recovered to enable safe slurry spreading.
Your local agriculture officer will be able to discuss your situation on a case-by-case basis and advise on what actions you can take. They may come to an agreement to allow emergency measures for slurry spreading or temporary storage if lagoon/tanks are likely to be compromised, or are at risk of overflowing. The agriculture officer will also discuss and agree an action plan with you, if necessary, to help avoid future problems.
Please call 03708 506 506 to speak to your local EA agriculture officer.
Out of hours, or in an emergency, call the incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.
More information on spreading during wet weather can be found on the Gov.UK website here.