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Soil Protection Review (SPR) 2012 needs to be completed

14 December 2012

Growers are reminded that the Soil Protection Review (SPR) 2012 needs to be completed by the 31st December 2012.  The purpose of the Soil Protection Review is to prevent erosion, compaction and damage to landscape features and to maintain soil structure and organic matter. Forms and guidance can be accessed via the Rural Payments Agency website.

You must update your SPR, each year and especially if:

  • It is clear that the measures you chose in the previous year's SPR are not working
  • You add additional land to your holding
  • Management systems change
  • Cropping practices change

The SPR should be kept on farm in case of inspection.  It forms an essential part of the cross compliance requirements.

The Rural Payments Agency reports that not completing a Soil Protection Review has been the most noted breach of the Good Agricultural and Environmental standards under cross compliance for each of the last four years. It is also currently the most frequent failure for the 2012 inspections that have been completed. Approximately 280 farmers have either not completed a SPR at all, or made some errors doing so.

Not completing the review can lead to a 5% reduction in Single Farm Payments and certain Rural Development Payments for England grants, in accordance with European Commission rules.

Accessing  Waterlogged land

Most growers have been affected by the extreme weather we have experienced during recent months. It isn't always possible to keep off land when it is waterlogged, but when access is needed, it is important to remember that you must keep a record of any activities in the SPR. You must start completing Part 4 (Access to Waterlogged Land) of the Soil Protection Review as soon as possible after accessing waterlogged land in 2012.  This is a requirement of cross compliance.

The details you need to enter into the SPR whenever accessing waterlogged land include:

  • Field number
  • Date of access
  • Reason for access
  • Remediation action required following access

For further information please contact Chris Steele Technical Executive AHDB Potatoes chris.steele@ahdb.org.uk.

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