Workshops for livestock farmers

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LIVESTOCK farmers across the region are being urged to make sure they are ready for new slurry storage regulations which come into effect from January 1 next year.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) North East says there are growing concerns that a significant number of farmers in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ areas) have yet to make the necessary preparations.

With the deadline approaching, a series of workshops is being planned to help NFU members get to grips with the new rules.

“This will be members’ last opportunity to get ready – so anyone at all unsure about what they need to do should book a place at one of these meetings,” said NFU North East regional director Barney Kay.

“By now farmers should have already assessed their storage needs for slurry and poultry manure kept on farm – six months’ worth for pigs and poultry and five months’ worth for other slurry.

“They should also have investigated what they need to do if more storage is needed.

“Even those in a deferred slurry storage area or ‘purple area’, who have an additional year to comply, may still be visited by Environment Agency staff to check what steps have been put in place.”

The forthcoming series of workshops is being held in conjunction with the Environment Agency and will cover the calculations needed to find out if extra storage is required, the next steps and what could happen if farmers fail to meet the regulations.

Participants will have the chance to go through their own calculations as part of the workshop provided they bring their own information on - animal numbers, dimensions, surface area of existing storage, areas of open spaces running into their slurry store.

Subject to demand, workshops are being held as follows: Thursday October 13, 1-3pm, NFU Regional Office, York; Thursday October 20, 1-3pm, The Golden Fleece, Thirsk and The Black Swan in Pickering, 6-8pm.

To book a place contact NFU regional office on 01904 451550. Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.