Tim Evans1


In many countries a large proportion of biosolids and biowastes are treated and used on agricultural land. This is encouraged by governments as the Best Practicable Environmental Option. The European Union (EU) has changed the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – its method of financial support to farmers – from production-based payments to Single Farm Payments (SFP) in return for managing the land (Cross-Compliance). The change came into effect on 1st July 2005. This is much more than a collection of abstruse and irrelevant acronyms. It is going to dramatically affect how land is farmed and the opportunities for land application of biosolids and biowastes. It will also affect how land appliers conduct their operations.

This paper describes the 2-edged sword that is cross-compliance. On one hand farmers are obliged to maintain soil in Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition and comply with soil standards for organic matter, structure and erosion, which is positive for exogenous organic matter, on the other hand odour, rutting, compaction, run-off and failure to have appropriate regard to nutrients could all jeopardise a farmers SFP, or make him fearful that it will. What are the opportunities and the threats; how can the first be maximised and the second avoided?

KEYWORDS Common Agricultural Policy, Cross Compliance, Environmental Stewardship, European Union, Good Agricultural Environmental Condition, Nutrient Management, Single Farm Payment, Single payment Scheme, Soil protection, Water protection

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