EA publish a Regulatory Position Statement on Spreading organic manures on agricultural land

The Farming Rules for Water require that applications of organic manures are planned and matched to soil and crop nutrient requirements and to manage any potential risk to water quality. The Environment Agency has published a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) on the Spreading of organic manures (which includes composts and digestates) on agricultural land.

If you follow the conditions of this RPS you can have a plan to apply organic manure to agricultural land that may exceed the needs of the soil or crop on that land, as long as it does not cause pollution. To use this RPS you must still be able to show that your planned applications to land do not exceed the crop requirements for the duration of your current planned crop cycle. It does not apply to circumstances that you can avoid or plan for.

We urge members to read the RPS in detail and ensure they comply with all the requirements if they chose to use it. You must inform the EA if you intend to use the RPS. This is particularly important as without knowledge that the RPS is being used the EA will have no evidence that it is required. This will be withdrawn on 1st March 2022.

The EA have also produced a document outlining some frequently asked questions relating to the Farming Rules for Water (FRfW), which includes questions relating to the RPS. You can read this here Q & A document.

In addition, there is a FACTS briefing which clarifies the requirements of FRfW – rule 1, supports decision making and introduces an approach to risk assessment. This communication has been produced with input from the farming bodies and associations, the agricultural supply industry, professional advisers, academia and consultants and water industry specialists.