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Who are we… and what do we do?

Abacus provides independent advice with a practical hands on approach to integrated farm management and agronomy for low input agriculture. Our services focus on profitable and sustainable farming systems that follow best practice commercial principles for business, soils and the environment.

Our regional team of consultants combine local knowledge with a wide range of technical expertise covering many aspects of livestock and crop production, policy and regulation. Our clients include farmers, growers, processors, retailers large and small across the supply chain in the UK and internationally.

Tailored for you…

Our farm consultancy services are tailor made to your business with key areas of expertise summarised in these easy to navigate panels. If you can’t find what you’re looking for please get in touch…

For general enquiries please call Ian Knight on 07775 842444 or Stephen Briggs on 07855 341309 or send us an email to advice@abacusagri.com

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Farming Today Calendar

Things that claimants should (and shouldn’t) do throughout the year.

January

1st January – You must start following the cross compliance rules from this date. This date is also officially the start of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

1st January – You can apply organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to grassland and tillage land on shallow or sandy soils from this date if conditions are suitable and you adhere to the quantity restrictions for application of these manures. (SMR 1)

1st January – Beginning of the year for assessing the annual amount of livestock manure applied to your land. (SMR 1)

16th January – You can apply manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to grassland and tillage land from this date if conditions are suitable. (SMR 1)

February

1st February – You can apply organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to grassland and tillage land on all soil types from this date if conditions are suitable and you adhere to the quantity restrictions for application of these manures. (SMR 1)

28th February – End of the quantity restrictions for application of organic manures with a high readily available nitrogen content. (SMR 1)

March

1st March – You must not cut hedgerows or trees from this date, but you can carry out hedge laying and coppicing from 1 March until 30 April. Orchards are not included in the ban. (GAEC 7A and 7C)

1st March – You must not cast up traditional hedge banks from this date. (GAEC 7A)

31st March – If you hold a water abstraction licence, expect to receive your annual bill (or first part charge if you hold a two-part tariff agreement) for the forthcoming financial year from 31 March. (GAEC 2)

April

1st April - You must not burn heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse or vaccinium on land, other than in upland areas, from this date. (GAEC 6)

1st April – If you hold a winter or all year round water abstraction licence (authorising abstraction outside the period April to October), the Environment Agency will make actual abstraction return forms available to you from 1 April. You then have 28 days to send your readings to the Environment Agency. (GAEC 2)

16th April – You must not burn heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse or vaccinium in upland areas from this date. (GAEC 6)

30th April – You must have recorded the number of ‘specified’ livestock kept on your farm during the previous calendar year and calculated the amount of nitrogen they produced. You must also record the number and type of livestock in a building or hard standing during the previous storage period. (SMR 1)

May

1st May – You must not carry out hedge-laying or coppicing from this date. (GAEC 7A)

1st May – If you have been granted a derogation by RPA, you may be able to cut hedgerows from this date. (GAEC 7A)

1st May –  Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to tillage land on shallow or sandy soils except where crops will be sown on or before 15 September. (SMR 1)

September

1st September – You can cut hedgerows and trees from this date. (GAEC 7A and 7C)

1st September – You can cast up traditional hedge banks from this date. (GAEC 7A)

1st September – Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to grassland on shallow or sandy soils. (SMR 1)

1st September – Start of closed period for applying manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to tillage land. (SMR 1)

15th September – Start of closed period for applying manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to grassland. (SMR 1)

16th September – Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to tillage land on shallow or sandy soils which have been sown with crops on or before 15 September. (SMR 1)

October

1st October – You can burn heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse or vaccinium on land in upland areas from this date. (GAEC 6)

1st October – Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to tillage land on soils which are not shallow or sandy. (SMR 1)

15th October – Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to grassland on soils which are not shallow or sandy. (SMR 1)

31st October – If you hold a summer water abstraction licence (authorising abstraction wholly within the months of April to October), the Environment Agency will make actual abstraction return forms available to you from 31 October. You then have 28 days to send your readings to the Environment Agency. (GAEC 2)

November

1st November – You can burn heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse or vaccinium on land, other than in upland areas, from this date. (GAEC 6)

30th November – If you have a two-part tariff agreement for your water abstraction licence, expect to receive your second part charge after 30 November. (GAEC 2)

December

1st December – You need to carry out your annual inventory of sheep. (SMR 8)