Fertiliser Guide Revisions "Must Provide Flexibility"

UK - Defra's official fertiliser recommendations must not be allowed to become an inflexible "prescriptive recipe book" according to responses to a consultation on the future of the publication known as RB209.

Farmers Weekly obtained a copy of the report which reviewed information supplied to the two-month consultation that took place last winter.

In the report farmers, advisers and other farm industry officials argued strongly that any revision to RB209 should continue to allow growers the flexibility to take into account local conditions and experience when making decisions on fertiliser rates.

"Farmers and advisers commented that they were already careful with nutrient use decisions because of the fertiliser costs involved, and the implications for crop performance and farm profits," said lead report author, ADAS researcher Peter Dampney.

Recommendations within RB209 had come under much closer scrutiny since the last revision was made in 2000, he acknowledged.

"This is because it is the preferred source of nutrient recommendations for DEFRA and the Environment Agency with respect to field level compliance with the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone action plan rules, cross-compliance and the single farm payment."

Source: FWi
calendar icon 3 May 2006
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