Scrapping farm nature payments may worsen English river pollution up to 20%
Weakening or scrapping the nature-friendly farmingpayment schemescould increase river pollution by up to 20%, an analysis has found.
The payments are due to replace the EU’s area-based payments scheme, in which farmers are paid for the amount of land they manage. The new system would instead pay land managers to provide “public goods” such as enhanced nature and clean rivers.
Farmers’ union called UK environment targets ‘irrational’ and ‘unachievable’
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) raised questions about the government’s proposed targets on water pollution, tree planting and rewilding, calling them “irrational” and “unachievable”, according to documents published by the environment department.
A loophole in pollution legislation allows farmers to pollute rivers by spreading excess manure, an investigation has found, with those acting unlawfully not facing any action in most cases. The government introduced new farming rules for water in 2018, aimed at cleaning up England’s waterways. However, after lobbying from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), including at least two meetings with ministers, the guidance was watered down.
Plasma-treated slurry reveals promising results in trials
Independent trial data assessing the impact of plasma-treated slurry as a replacement of artificial fertiliser has revealed promising results when tested oncrops ofwinter wheat and grass. The novel technology developed by Norwegian firm N2 Applied uses air and electricity to boost the nitrogen (N) content of liquid manures and aims to help farmers reduce nutrient losses and improve crop performance.
Government faces legal action over sewage sludge on farmland
An environmental campaign group is taking legal action against the government, accusing it of axing its pledge to regulate microplastics and chemicals in sewage sludge spread over farmland.
Fighting Dirty, which comprises campaigners George Monbiot, Georgia Elliott-Smith and Steve Hynd, argues that the government reneged on its commitment to bring the regulation of sewage sludge into the Environmental Permitting Regime (EPR) by 2023.