FACTS NMP Training through Earthcare Technical Ltd.

The FACTS Nutrient Management Planning (NMP) training course is now available through Earthcare Technical Ltd. Anna Becvar and Susie Holmes will be the key Earthcare Technical  BASIS approved trainers in England and Wales. In Scotland Dr Audrey Litterick, is working with SAC to deliver FACTS NMP. The course comprises of six modules, which need to be completed by current FACTS Qualified Advisers, by December 2014 if they are to retain their FQA status beyond that date. The exam is optional - a simple on line multi-choice can be taken post training to gain FQA status prior to December 2014.

Read post

NEW! Horticultural food crop production for small-scale growers

Interest in small-scale fruit and vegetable production for local markets has never been greater, but until now, small-scale growers have had difficulty getting practical information and advice.  Audrey Litterick, Earthcare Technical, is delighted to announce the recent publication of a new guide which will address this need. The guide, “Horticultural handbook for crofters and other small producers in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland” aims to help small-scale growers to design cropping systems for their local area and manage them effectively. The guide is aimed at growers in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, but is highly relevant to growers in other parts of the UK. It covers site and soil assessment, crop husbandry, crop choice, protected cropping, fruit, vegetables and marketing of produce.

Read post

NVZ Changes

  Overall the area of England and Wales defined as a NVZ will reduce be about 3% from 62% to 59%.  Some 6,800 fewer farms (including 340 dairy farms) are said to no longer fall within NVZs.  All owners and occupiers of land that will be in a NVZ  for the first time from January 2013 were issues notices 28th August 2012.  If this has left farmers wondering their current status then go to the Environment Agency website 'What's in your Backyard' area, enter your postcode and view the 2013 farm NVZ status (http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/141443.aspx).  In terms of rules, the full government response can be found http://www.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/land-manage/nitrates-watercourses/nitrates/.  Key points: Defra intends to change the rule for calculating Nmax so that it includes all organic manures not just livestock manures.

Read post