Manure and fertiliser breaches are commonplace
A total of 306 inspections found defects in compliance with the ‘SMR1’ series of sixteen statutory management requirements related to fertiliser and manure management. These include exceeding limits on nitrogen application, failure to maintain slurry stores and applying fertilisers to waterlogged fields.
Almost all of the failures related to or included errors in record keeping, nine farms’ behaviour being considered intentional. Such behaviour incurs a reduction in direct payments of at least 15%, potentially rising to all of the subsidy in extreme cases. A total of 209 farms lesser penalties were applied, with 94 only being warned about their non-compliance.