Farming in extreme weather conditions: events well received in the Ribble CatchmentWednesday 02 January 2013
Over 70 farmers recently attended two evening meetings focusing on farming in extreme weather conditions. The meetings were organised by the Ribble Rivers Trust and funded by Defra’s Catchment Restoration Fund.
Unusually wet weather in 2012 has created many problems for farmers in the catchment. Saturated land has made accessing fields very difficult and many livestock farmers have had extra manure/slurry to deal with as livestock have had to be housed for longer.
The meetings were held in Waddington, near Clitheroe, and Laneshaw Bridge, near Colne, and featured talks from The Environment Agency, Farm Advisory Service, Catchment Sensitive Farming and the Ribble Rivers Trust.
Jackie Monk of the Environment Agency outlined contingency planning measures for slurry storage and updated farmers on the latest guidance recently issued from the EA regarding temporary storage.
Neville Pearson of the Farm Advisory Service discussed soil structure problems associated with the wet weather conditions and how to rectify issues when soils dry out.
Michael Graham the Ribble Catchment Sensitive Farming Coordinator outlined the Catchment Sensitive Farming Programme including the Capital Grant Scheme for 2013.
Sarah Bolton the Ribble Rivers Trust’s Agricultural Projects Offer discussed diffuse pollution in the catchment and funding opportunities from the Ribble Trust.
Key points raised
Slurry management –
Observe good practice to minimise risks when spreading, consider temporary storage or shared facilities, risk assess before spreading and seek advice. Record your actions. Don’t be afraid of contacting the EA for guidance – 08708 506 506.
Soil management –
Regularly assess your soils, minimise compaction, assess field drainage and outflows. Where you do identify poor soil structure, don’t consider rectifying the issues unless the soil is completely dried out. Where you are not sure how to rectify the issues identified, seek professional guidance by contacting the Farming Advice Service 0845 345 1302.
Catchment Sensitive Farming –
Contact Michael Graham on 0777 0700 830 as CSF offers opportunities for one to one training and advice covering nutrient and manure management planning, soil husbandry and water management. The 2013 CSF Capital Grant Scheme application window will be open from 1 March 2013 – 30 April 2013.
Ribble Rivers Trust –
If you farm in the following sub catchments (yellow areas on map) – Loud, Swanside, Skirden, Stock Beck and Easington then the Ribble Rivers Trust has funding for quick fixes to address diffuse pollution. Items that could be funded include guttering, concreting, bunding, rainwater harvesting, hard stoning gateways etc.
Outside of these areas (green areas on map) funding opportunities from the Ribble Rivers Trust include 100% funding for watercourse fencing, tree planting, livestock drinkers, flood gates, crossing points etc. This funding is targeted at tributaries of the Ribble where increased shade is required.
Contact the trust on 01200 444 452 if you are interested. Ribble Rivers Trust Website >>