BREAKING: Britain’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee met on January 12 to take evidence on manure rules on farms, a topic which has caused some controversy in recent months.

Several farms had told the committee that rules know as the ‘farming rules for water,’ as interpreted by the Environment Agency (EA), meant they could not spread organic fertiliser on their fields in an efficient way. The EA has said its rules were designed to stop pollution and did not stop farmers from using manure on their fields.

The London session took evidence from the Tennant Farmers Association, experts in soil and water issues, and senior officials from the EA.

Chair of the committee, Neil Parish, said after the evidence session:

“Farmers have been rightly concerned at mixed messages they have received from the Environment Agency about soil husbandry – and when and how they can spread organic fertiliser.

“But today’s informative and constructive session made it clear that all parties are committed to finding a solution which makes the most of good organic matter while reducing pollution, he added.

“I was pleased that the Environment Agency and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committed during the session to publishing new and very clear guidance on this issue for our farmers by early Spring,” he further noted.

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