The Ulster Farmers’ Union Environment Policy Committee continues to tackle many major issues affecting farming communities in Northern Ireland.
More recently the Environment Committee along with Pork and Bacon Committee have been working with DARD and NIEA to address the issue of organic manure responsibility on contract rearing pig farms.
In some situations, this is called a ‘bed and breakfast’ arrangement. The finisher is paid a fee per pig and never actually owns the pigs that are supplied and sold by the owner. The finisher does not have to finance the cost of pigs, feed and other variable costs but, normally, will receive organic manures for use in their own business, providing a considerable offset to purchased fertilisers.
Under the Nitrates Action Programme responsibility for the organic manures normally remains with the owner or the herd number that the animals originate from. Therefore for the finisher to obtain responsibility of the organic manure it would require the owner to export the organic manure which in turn passes on responsibility. The UFU have worked closely with DARD and NIEA to develop a slurry storage and nutrient management responsibility agreement for contract pig rearing which simplifies this issue. The agreement transfers the responsibility for slurry storage and nutrient management from the pig owner to the contract rearer for the agreement year.
The slurry storage and nutrient management responsibility agreement for contract pig finishing is set out in two parts. Part 1 contains agreement terms and conditions and should be completed for each calendar year by both parties. Part 2 contains confirmation of pig weights and numbers and must be completed shortly after the end of the calendar year. For example if the agreement year was 2015 then Part 2 should be completed in January 2016.
The pig producer (owner of pigs) should send the Slurry Responsibility Agreement form to NIEA by 31 January the following year. In the absence of the Slurry Responsibility Agreement or a Manure Export Record, NIEA will treat the owner of the pigs as the person responsible for the slurry.
Under NAP 2015-2018 and Phosphorus Regulations, records of exports, of organic manure must be submitted to NIEA by 31 January for previous calendar year. For example, records for 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 must be submitted by 31 January 2016. If you do not submit your records on time, the information cannot be taken into account for calculating nitrogen loading on your farm.
Completed forms to be sent to: DOE Northern Ireland Environment Agency, 17 Antrim Road, Tonagh, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, BT28 3AL