Farmers in the South west should be looking at their silage clamps now, before spring, to ensure they are compliant with Environment Agency rules.
This is the message from Will Wilson, Business Development Director at silage clamp specialists ARK Agriculture.
‘We have had a surge of enquiries about the options for silage clamp systems in the South West’, Says Mr Wilson, ‘this is the result of focus from the Environment Agency who are now paying very close attention to clamps’.
Some farmers have found that their clamps have been condemned, which will be a major issue in the spring when they need to find alternative storage arrangements.
Silage clamps and clamp construction fall under the SSAFO regulations which have applied since 2010. The regulations also apply to any clamps altered since then – which the majority will have been.
‘Some of the clamps we see are well over 40 years old, have been expanded several times and are no longer fit for purpose, the EA quite rightly, are looking at these clamps and taking action’, says Mr Wilson.
The risks to the environment from leaking or failing silage clamps should not be taken lightly, ‘the leachate produced by silage is significantly more damaging to water course than human effluent and fines for polluting from clamps are becoming more common’.
If you are not sure about your clamps or you have been visited by the EA and need to find solutions then he suggests considering the following.
1 – Understand the exact regulations you have to meet by reading the SSAFO regulations (online).
2 - Confirm if you think your clamps are compliant based on those rules, the most common issues are
3- Consider your options to rectify these issues.
ARK Agriculture is happy to offer advice on any of the above points and can be contacted on 01787 220560 or found online www.ARKagriculture.com
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