Breaking: Welsh Government makes statement regarding consultation on Nutrient Management

27 April 2023

Pond on farmland

NFU Cymru has responded to the Written Statement from Welsh Government on the Consultation on Nutrient Management – Managing the application of livestock manures sustainably.

The Welsh Government statement advised that the implementation date for the 170kg/ha annual limit is to be extended from 30 April 2023 to 31 October 2023 in order to allow more time to consider the consultation responses and allow farmers time to prepare once the outcome is announced.

Recap of regulations

Phase 2 of the regulations came into force on 1 January 2023, with the exception of the annual 170kg/ha holding nitrogen limit for livestock manure. 

Welsh Government consulted on a licensing scheme whereby any farm business can apply for a licence for a higher annual holding nitrogen limit of 250kg/ha subject to crop need and other legal considerations. Welsh Government consulted on proposals for such a scheme to be operational until 2025.

NFU Cymru's lobbying

NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said: “NFU Cymru has long been clear that the 170kg/ha N limit from livestock manures will have a widespread detrimental impact on production levels and farm business viability. 

“In the context of the significant inflationary pressures on the industry, together with the downward pressure on milk prices, NFU Cymru is clear that Welsh Government’s proposal to bring forward a licensing scheme to allow higher levels of nitrogen from livestock manures will be vital and can be justified on the basis of the evidence, without having an impact on the environment.


“The announcement by Welsh Government that the implementation date for the introduction of the 170kg/ha N limit from livestock manures is to be extended until 31 October 2023, in order to provide the time needed to consider the consultation responses and allow farmers time to prepare, is positive if this time is now used to develop a properly functioning licensing scheme in Wales.

“In our response to Welsh Government’s consultation earlier this year on the introduction of a licensing scheme, NFU Cymru set out in detail how we felt that the development of the licensing scheme should follow the principles of good regulation. The process of applying for the licence should be as simple and straightforward as possible based on the approaches adopted in England and Northern Ireland.

Support for licensing scheme

“The need for a licensing scheme has received widespread support from across the food supply chain, outlining the sizeable impact the regulations will have on food production and the significant economic impact for rural businesses if the licensing system is not secured.

“We stand ready to work with Welsh Government to help take forward the proposals for a licensing scheme agreed through the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.”

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