NFU Cymru welcomes Welsh Government’s Enhanced Nutrient Management Approach

10 October 2023

a tree by a river

NFU Cymru has welcomed Welsh Government’s announcement that an Enhanced Nutrient Management approach to lessen the detrimental impact that the Control of Agricultural Pollution Regulations on Welsh food production is to be introduced later this year

Enhanced Nutrient Management approach

Following consultation earlier this year, Welsh Government has confirmed the introduction of an Enhanced Nutrient Management approach which will allow farmers to notify Natural Resources Wales (NRW) that they will be applying up to 250kg nitrogen per hectare from livestock manures subject to additional measures being undertaken.

Commenting on the announcement, NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said: “NFU Cymru has long been clear that the 170kg per hectare holding nitrogen limit from livestock manures introduced as part of the Control of Agricultural Pollution Regulations will negatively affect Welsh farming and the wider supply chain, operating as a de facto stocking limit reducing the numbers of livestock that farm businesses can carry. 

“The consequences of the 170kg/ha nitrogen limit (from livestock manures) imposed by the regulations has been all the more concerning given that many farming businesses are experiencing pressure on their margins due to the effects of agri-inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.

Welcome announcement

“Global volatility is threatening the stability of the world’s food production, food security and energy security and it is clear that action is needed to protect our food producing capacity. In this context, we welcome Welsh Government’s announcement to introduce an Enhanced Nutrient Management approach that has been agreed as part of the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru. 

“The evidence shows that an increase to a 250kg/ha annual holding nitrogen limit from livestock manures can be justified and will not damage the environment.  The need for a long-term sustainable solution that enables farmers to operate above the 170kg nitrogen per hectare limit from livestock manures beyond 2024 cannot be overstated.  We welcome Welsh Government’s commitment to carry out an economic assessment and to look at alternative measures as part of the four yearly review of the regulations. This review needs to be expedited to ensure it is completed and actions implemented ahead of 31st December 2024, we are committed to working with Welsh Government to take this forward.”

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