New rules for farmers to tackle diffuse water pollution from agriculture will come into force from April 2018, the UK government’s environment department (DEFRA) has announced.
The new rules, outlined in a policy paper on Thursday, are intended to fulfil obligations on diffuse pollution under the EU’s Water Framework Directive.
The policy paper sets out eight rules: five concerning fertilisers and three on soil management. It states that the application of organic manures and manufactured fertilisers to cultivated land must be planned in advance to meet soil and crop nutrient needs and must not go beyond the amount needed.
Farmers’ planning must take into account where there is a significant risk of pollution. They will also be required to undertake soil testing for phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, pH and nitrogen levels at least every five years, according to the paper.
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