National Farmers Union (NFU) President Minette Batters has said that farmers are experiencing "unprecedented costs when buying fertiliser, alongside tightening supplies, and it’s critical that government put in place measures to mitigate some of these effects".
“Many of the measures, particularly around the industry-led regulation of urea, the updated guidance on the Farming Rules for Water which will allow autumn manure spreading, and the extension of Defra’s Market Monitoring Group to understand trends in the market, are positive for farmers.
"This is what the NFU has been asking for and I’d like to thank government for making these changes.
“We will look at the guidance closely and we are continuing to engage with government on the importance of fertiliser and about ways it can ensure stability and confidence in the food supply chain.”
Regarding further information about the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Batters said:
“We support the move to a rolling application window as this will offer flexibility to farmers and growers to apply at a time that suits their business.
"This also needs to be matched by certainty over when agreements will start once an application has been submitted.
“While the offer available now will be suitable for some farms, it’s clear there are still not viable options for all. It’s essential for all farmers who wish to enter these new schemes that payment rates properly recognise the public goods they will be delivering.
"With such huge uncertainty I remain extremely concerned that farmers in England are facing a very different approach to the rest of the UK.
"With farmers in England receiving less direct support, the government must ensure new ways of farmers and growers managing their risk and volatility.”