Rule change on fertilisation will hit farmers, warn Tories

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NEW rules for farmers on fertilising their land will make their businesses less profitable, the Scottish Conservatives have warned

Rural affairs spokesman Alex Fergusson has condemned the Scottish Government’s proposals to amend the General Binding Rules on Water Environment Regulations, describing them as unworkable and unwanted.

 

The new measures would see a ban on spreading of fertiliser, dung and slurry on slopes of 12 degrees or more, unless the farmer is in the fortunate position of having a 10-metre buffer zone at the foot of the slope.

His criticism echoes that of farming organisations across Scotland, including the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association.

Mr Fergusson said: “These proposals come from a Government that portrays itself as the farmers’ friend, yet they would render many of Scotland’s farms completely uneconomic.

“To ban the spreading of fertiliser, slurry, dung and chemicals on all land with a slope of 12 degrees or more is simply beyond the pale.

“It smacks of an over-bureaucratic, centralising Government which seems to prefer increased bureaucracy to food security.

“It needs to strike a reasonable balance between the two, but these proposals suggest that it is unable to do so. Richard Lochhead must think again on these regulations”.

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