Full Fertiliser Recommendation Service

Let our FACTS qualified advisors review your soils, cropping plans, target yields and nutrient applications. 

 

They can then provide you with a full fertiliser recommendation based upon crop requirements. This will include recommendation of fertiliser product, application rates and application timings to ensure you get the maximum economic yield from your crop whilst not exceeding the crops requirements. 

 

 

PTO Shaft

A PTO Shaft will take power from a power source such as a Tractor and transfer this power to an implement such as a Power Harrow. PTO shafts of any combination of machinery are very dangerous if used without the correct guarding. Every year people are killed or seriously injured in accidents involving PTOs and PTO shafts.

 

Most of these accidents are preventable if the PTO and PTO drive shaft are fitted with guards of good design which are properly used and maintained.

 

 

 

 

 

4R Reassurance can undertake a PTO Audit of your machinery

 

PTO Guards

For PTO shaft guards, check that the guard is:

 

  • made to a recognised standard such as BS EN ISO 5674;
  • the correct size and length for the shaft, both when closed and when extended;
  • a non-rotating type, with the restraining device (for example, securing chains) in place;
  • properly used and maintained. Clean and lubricate guards regularly;
  • supported when not connected. Do not rest it on the drawbar or drop it on the ground, and do not suspend it by the restraining device;
  • safe from damage, for example, by livestock, when the machine is in store.

 

Make sure no one uses adaptors to allow a 21 spline 1000 rpm shaft to drive a 6 spline 540 rpm shaft.                                                                                                

  (Source: www.hse.gov.uk )

 

 

4R Reassurance can source and supply PTO Guards for your machinery

 

Soil Sampling

Soil tests for cultivated agricultural land

 

If you’re applying manure or fertiliser to cultivated agricultural land, you must also plan by using the results of soil tests.

 

Cultivated agricultural land is both or one of the following:

  • land you’ve ploughed, sowed or harvested at least once in the last year
  • land where you’ve applied organic manure or fertiliser at least once in the last 3 years

The results of soil tests must show the pH and levels of:

  • nitrogen - you can use the SNS calculator instead of a soil test
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • magnesium

Soil test results must be no more than 5 years old at the time of application.

 

4R Reassurance will sample 50 hectares (maximum of 10 samples) as part of our service

 

Chainsaw Licence

Most farms have a Chainsaw, commonly used for such tasks as cutting firewood, cutting fallen branches, fencing, hedge laying etc.

 

Chainsaws are very dangerous pieces of equipment if poorly maintained or used inappropriately and without training. Risks need to be assessed, protective equipment provided and communication arrangements in place.

 

All workers who use a chainsaw should be competent to do so. Before using a chainsaw a worker should have received appropriate training and obtained a relevant certificate of competence or national competence award.

 

 

 

4R Reassurance will facilitate Chainsaw Training for you and your staff

 

Hedge Cutting Season

Hedge Cutting Season is controlled by DEFRA via GAEC 7.

 

It states that you must not cut or trim hedges between March 1st and September 1st

 

Under derogation (only if granted) you may cut or trim hedges throughout August to allow for the sowing of Oilseed Rape or Temporary Grass Ley

 

Exemptions

  • Hedges or branches pose a risk for drivers on a public highway or private road
  • Hedges or branches obstruct the path of a public right of way

 

For a list of hedge cutting dates click here 

 

4R Reassurance will highlight hedge trimming under derogation on your farm maps

 

Hedge Cutting Dates

March 1st

  • You must not cut or trim hedges or trees from this date, but you can carry out hedge and tree coppicing and hedge laying from 1 March until 30 April. Fruit and nut trees in orchards, or trees acting as windbreaks in orchards, vineyards, hop yards or hop gardens are not included in the ban. (GAEC 7a and 7c)

 

May 1st

  • You must not carry out hedge or tree coppicing or hedge laying from this date. (GAEC7a and 7c)

 

August 1st

  • If you have been granted a derogation by RPA, you may be able to cut or trim hedges throughout August, to sow oilseed rape or temporary grassland. (GAEC 7a)

 

September 1st

  • You can cut or trim hedges and trees from this date. (GAEC 7a and 7c)

 

 

4R Reassurance will provide you with all Cross Compliance Dates in your Farm Pack

 

Tractor Licence

Agricultural tractors require a category F licence to drive on the public road. Category B (car) licence holders automatically have category F entitlement. To drive track-laying vehicles, including tractors, on the public road requires the category H entitlement.

 

You can hold a category F licence from age 16. 16-year-olds may only drive tractors up to 2.45 metres wide, and tow trailers up to 2.45 metres wide and with 2 wheels, or 4 close-coupled wheels. From age 17 these restrictions do not apply.

 

Category F licence only applies to tractors used primarily for agriculture or forestry. Therefore, if you wish to drive a tractor that is not used primarily for agriculture or forestry, you need to hold a goods vehicle licence. That is category C1E for combinations with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) up to 12 tonnes (8.25 tonnes if licence was obtained before 1997) and CE for combinations with MAM over 7.5 tonnes (8.25 tonnes for pre-1997 licences).

 

Other, non-tractor agricultural motor vehicles require a category B licence, and you must also be over 21 years old to drive these.

 

Summary of minimum ages to drive agricultural vehicles:

  • age 16 (via F category): tractors up to 2.45 metres wide, towing trailers up to 2.45 metres wide and with 2 wheels, or 4 close-coupled wheels
  • age 17 to 20: all tractors, subject to holding relevant entitlement
  • age 21+: all tractors and non-tractor agricultural motor vehicles, subject to holding relevant entitlement

 

 

4R Reassurance will facilitate Tractor Training for your staff

 

Slurry Storage

If you are in a designated Nitrate Vulnerable Zone area the following Slurry Storage requirement will apply;

 

You must have sufficient facilities to store all slurry produced on your holding and all poultry manure produced in a yard or building from:

  • 1 October to 1 April (6 months) in the case of pigs and poultry
  • 1 October to 1 March (5 months) in any other case.

 

Slurry stores must, additionally, have the capacity to store:

  • all rainfall expected to enter the store during the storage period (including rainfall runoff from elsewhere)
  • any wash water or other liquids that enter the store during that period.

 

Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil (England) Regulations storage requirements will also apply.

 

 

4R Reassurance will calculate your storage capacity and monthly production volumes

 

Farm Solutions

The Action Plan will be at the front of your Farm Pack and will list the Actions you need to complete to improve compliance standards on your farm.

 

All our Farm Support team have farming backgrounds and so we understand the challenges you face. We will work with you to find farm solutions that are practicable and achievable for you and your farm.

 

Over our 17 visits we will provide you with continued support and assist you with the review, monitoring and completion of your Action Plan.

 

 

Reassurance will work with you to find Farm Solutions to complete your Action Plan

 

Red Tractor

Red Tractor, otherwise known as “Assured Food Standards” is a scheme based in the UK and founded in 2000, focusing on food safety and quality.

 

The scheme is written to incorporate three main pillars:

  • Food Safety
  • Traceability
  • Environmental Protection

 

Food which is sold at retail bearing the Red Tractor logo has been grown, transported and processed by scheme members, and regular checks are made on all scheme members to ensure standards are being upheld.

 

Red Tractor produce is wholly produced in the UK, and includes fresh produce, dairy produce, poultry, pork, beef and lamb and arable crops.

 

 

4R Reassurance provides continual compliance support and guidance to Red Tractor assured farmers.

 

Red Tractor Templates

Farms which are part of the membership scheme are required to keep a number of additional documents and records which are checked during their regular assurance assessments.

 

Examples of Red Tractor Templates include:

 

  • Vermin control records
  • Medicine purchases
  • Staff training and inductions
  • Grain store monitoring records

 

Many farmers find it useful to use pre-made Red Tractor Templates to ensure that all the required information is included.

 

Other farmers choose to create their own templates which best suit their farm systems.

 

 

4R Reassurance can provide relevant and mandatory templates, which can also be tailored to individual needs.

 

 

Red Tractor Assurance

Becoming Red Tractor assured has several benefits to farmers and growers, including the following:

 

  • By being a part of a nationally recognised label, you are helping to promote British farming and produce to the general public.
  • Red Tractor Assurance status broadens your marketing options, by allowing you to access additional large scale and commercial buyers.
  • Assured produce often gains a higher price, particularly when markets are flooded.
  • Red Tractor standards are a good way of benchmarking your business and having the security of knowing that you exceed industry wide standards.

 

At 4R Reassurance, we can provide you with up to date Red Tractor Templates, inform you of relevant scheme changes, and perform pre-audit style visits to identify any areas which may need improving.

 

4R Reassurance supports farmers to maintain their assured standards, reduce the paperwork load and significantly reduce inspection time

 

 

Farm Signs

Agriculture is a high risk industry, and farms can be dangerous places. Farm signs can be used to reduce the likelihood of incidents occurring.

 

Farm signs can be generic, warning of hazards such as:

  • Slippery surfaces
  • Heavy Machinery in Operation
  • Bulls
  • Chemical hazards
  • Live Electricity

 

Farm signs can also be farm-specific, outlining emergency procedures and highlighting locations of equipment such as first aid kits or fire extinguishers.

 

It is important to ensure that signs are clearly visible and updated to maintain relevance.

 

4R Reassurance design and source a range of farm signs, both generic and farm specific.

 

 

Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

Nitrate Vulnerable Zones are areas which are at risk of Nitrate pollution through agricultural processes.

 

Within England, around 55% of the landmass is part of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones. Nitrate levels are monitored throughout the UK, and every 4 years DEFRA reviews and amends the areas which are deemed vulnerable.

 

If your land falls within a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone, this will limit some activities you can carry out which could cause Nitrate pollution. These limitations must be adhered to as part of Cross Compliance rules known as Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs).

 

Failure to comply with these rules can result in a reduction of a farm’s annual payment.

(Source: www.gov.uk )

 

4R Reassurance provide NVZ support, including application records and calculations.

 

NVZ

NVZ is an abbreviation which stands for Nitrate Vulnerable Zone, an area deemed as high at risk from agricultural Nitrate pollution.

 

If a farm falls in an area deemed as an NVZ, there are restrictions in place controlling the following:

  • Use of Nitrogen fertilisers
  • Storage of organic manures

 

Even if a farm is not within an NVZ, there are rules in place surrounding these areas and it is the land owner’s responsibility to protect watercourses from pollution.

 

NVZ restrictions include the amount and timing of Nitrogen fertiliser spread on land. For Example, you must not spread high readily available nitrogen manures on or between the dates shown in this table

  On grassland On tillage land
Sandy or shallow soils 1 Sep to 31 Dec 1 Aug to 31 Dec
All other soils 15 Oct to 31 Jan 1 Oct to 31 Jan

 

(Source: www.gov.uk )

 

4R Reassurance provides support with NVZ compliance and guidance for farmers.

 

NVZ Maps

An online map is available on the Government website (www.gov.uk), showing areas of the UK land mass which fall into Nitrate Vulnerable Zones.

 

The areas shown on the NVZ maps change every 4 years depending on where the high risk areas are deemed to be.

 

It is also necessary for farmers to create maps showing which areas of their farm are high, medium and low risk for spreading of either organic or artificial fertilisers.

 

These NVZ maps are usually colour coded based on a “traffic light” system, and will be required during cross compliance and farm assurance inspections. 

 

 

4R Reassurance create and produce NVZ maps for our clients.

Cross Compliance

‘Cross compliance’ is a set of rules which farmers and land managers must follow on their holding if they are claiming rural payments for:

  • the Basic Payment Scheme
  • Countryside Stewardship
  • Entry Level Stewardship (including Organic Entry Level Stewardship and Uplands Entry Level Stewardship) agreements starting on or after 1 January 2007
  • Higher Level Stewardship (including Organic Higher Level Stewardship and Uplands Higher Level Stewardship) agreements starting on or after 1 January 2007
  • Woodland Management Grant and Farm Woodland Premium elements of English Woodland Grant Scheme agreements starting on or after 1 January 2007.

 

Cross compliance is made up of ‘Statutory Management Requirements’ (SMRs) and standards for ‘Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions’ (GAECs).

 

They cover the following areas:

  • Public, animal and plant health
  • Environment, climate change and good agricultural condition of land
  • Animal welfare

 

4R Reassurance ensures you are compliant with the Cross Compliance Rules.

 

Farming Advice Service

Our Farm Support Team works with you to produce your Farm Pack which is specific to your farm and your operations.  Our experienced and qualified staff will guide and help your business when necessary, identifying where any updates or improvements can be made and provide ongoing support to you throughout the process.

 

The service is delivered via 17 visits over 5 years.  These regular visits by your dedicated Farm Support will ensure that you are kept up to date with any regulatory changes and that your Farm Pack is reviewed and current.

 

The 4R team will be available throughout the 5 year service to offer advice, guidance and support to you and your farm.

 

 

4R Reassurance provide you with a Farming Advice Service throughout your membership

 

Tractor Training

Ensure your workers have the appropriate driving licence to drive the farm vehicles you are asking them to drive.

 

Key points are:

  • Driving licence must show Category F (UK standard car licences will automatically have this included) to drive tractors and agricultural vehicles primarily used in agriculture or forestry.
  • 16 year olds may hold a category F only licence if they have passed the appropriate test.

 

For more details regarding tractor licences click here 

 

Ensure all drivers carry out pre use Safety Checks.

 

Safe Stop is essential when you need to leave the cab – NEVER leave a vehicle running unattended.

 

If your drivers are required to work on slopes ensure they are suitably trained to do so and the risk of working on the slope is assessed.

 

 

4R Reassurance can facilitate Tractor Training for your staff.

 

Pesticide Training

Those who use, or cause or permit others to apply, plant protection products or who store and/or dispose of products are subject to a number of legal requirements.

 

  • Anyone who applies pesticides as part of their professional activities must (including those previously operating under grandfather rights) hold a recognised specified training certificate .
  • All those purchasing professional plant protection products must reasonably believe that products are used by someone holding a specified certificate.
  • Distributors must ensure they have sufficient staff available at the point of sale to advise customers on the use and risks arising from the use of plant protection products and how they can be managed.
  • All application equipment, except knapsacks and hand-held, must from November 2016 possess a certificate demonstrating that it has passed an officially recognised test conducted by the National Sprayer Testing Scheme . Equipment has to be tested on either a three, five or six yearly basis thereafter depending on when the most recent test was conducted and the type of equipment (details are available in the National Action Plan ). All equipment must be calibrated on a regular basis.
  • Aerial spraying of plant protection products must be done in accordance with a permit obtained from HSE.
  • Users, or those who cause or permit use, must ensure that: all reasonable precautions are taken to protect human health and the environment; applications are confined to target areas; and in certain areas (including public spaces and conservation areas) that the amount used and frequency of use is as low as reasonably practicable.
  • Priority is given to particular products where there are risks to water quality.
  • Professional users and distributors take all reasonable precautions to ensure handling, storage and disposal operations do not endanger human health or the environment.
  • Storage areas are constructed in such a way as to prevent unwanted releases of products

(Source: www.hse.gov.uk )

 

 

 

4R Reassurance will facilitate Pesticide Training for your staff.

 

Quad Bike Training

Many quad bike fatalities in the UK have been caused by head injuries. Helmets would have prevented most, if not all, of these deaths. You should always wear a suitable helmet when riding a quad bike.

 

The long seat on a quad bike allows operators to shift their body weight backwards and forwards for different slope conditions, a technique known as ‘active’ riding. It is not for carrying passengers.

 

To help reduce the risks:

  • carry out safety checks and maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, eg regularly check tyre pressures, brakes and throttle;
  • secure loads on racks and make sure they are not over loaded and evenly balanced;
  • always read and follow the owner’s manual;
  • stick to planned routes, where possible, and walk new routes if necessary to check for hidden obstructions, hollows or other hazards;
  • take extra care with trailed or mounted equipment and understand how they affect stability;
  • make sure all riders receive adequate training.

 

Never carry a child as a passenger; it is illegal and will reduce your ability to control the ATV. Children under 13 years old are prohibited from using an ATV at work. Over-13s should only ride ATVs – of an appropriate size and power – after formal training on a low-power ATV. 

 

 

4R Reassurance will facilitate Quad Bike Training for your staff.

 

NVZ Dates

Date  Requirement
August 1st 

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

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)

September 1st

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

September 15th

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

September 16th

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 

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)

October 15th 

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)

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4R Reassurance will provide you with all Cross Compliance Dates in your Farm Pack

 

NVZ Closed Peroid

Date  Requirement
August 1st 

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

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)

September 1st

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

September 15th

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

September 16th

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

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)

October 15th

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)

 

4R Reassurance will provide you with all Cross Compliance Dates in your Farm Pack

 

Basic Payment Scheme

The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is the biggest of the European Union’s rural grants and payments to help the farming industry.

 

Farmers apply once a year - normally in May - and payments begin in December.

 

Farmers with at least 5 hectares of agricultural land and 5 ‘entitlements’ can apply.

 

Some businesses aren’t allowed to claim if they carry out certain business activities.

 

There are some rules about what you can and can’t do with your land if you claim BPS.

 

If you’re an arable farmer you might need to grow 3 different crops and use 5% of your land to do specific things that are good for the environment. Farmers will need to make decisions about what to do with their land so that they can follow the rules.

 

If you claim BPS you must also follow the Cross Compliance Rules.

(Source: www.gov.uk )

 

 

4R Reassurance will help you to comply with the Cross Compliance Rules

 

Agronomist

An Agronomist is an expert in the science of Soil Management and Crop Production

 

4R Group have a wealth of experience and knowledge in the areas of Soil Management and Crop Production. The 4R Group apply over 750,000t of organic materials to land each year. The organic materials are applied to land for beneficial use to enhance the health of the soil and to provide the crops with a supply of available nutrients.

 

Our Team are made up of Soil Scientists, FACTS Qualified Advisors and hold Agricultural and Land Management based qualifications to BSC, MSC, and PHD levels.  

 

 

4R Reassurance support you with Soil Management and Crop Production.

 

NVZ Dates

Date  Requirement
January 1st 

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)

January 1st 

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

January 16th

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

February 1st

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)

February 28th

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

April 30th

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 hardstanding during the previous storage period. (SMR 1)

July 31st 

If your land was in a nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ) for the first time in 2017, you must meet all the NVZ rules from this date. (SMR 1)

 

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4R Reassurance will provide you with all Cross Compliance Dates in your Farm Pack

 

 

Accident Investigation Service

In the unfortunate event of an accident we will attend site at the earliest opportunity and undertake a full accident investigation service.

 

Dependant on the nature of the accident it may be reportable to the HSE under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).  If this is the case we will support you in submitting the report within the required timescale.

 

 

Soil Sampling and Analysis

Whole Farm soil sampling and analysis can be undertaken to provide you with soil nutrient levels and organic matter content so that you can comply with latest DEFRA and EA rules.

 

Our Farm Support staff will confirm your requirements and sample the fields indicated.

 

Analysis reports will be sent to you and included in your Farm Pack.

 

On Farm Training

We can provide specific on farm training tailored to the needs of your workforce

 

  • Duty of Care – a brief insight into why we need to improve H&S on farm
  • Working at Height
  • COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health)
  • LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) and
  • PUWER (Provision and Use of Workplace Equipment Regulations)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)           
  • Manual Handling
  • Lone Working
  • Welfare and Occupational Diseases
  • First Aid
  • Telehandler
  • Pesticide Application

 

 

Telehandler Training

Telehandlers are common place on many farms and are often the most used piece of machinery due to their versatility. However, many hazards are associated with their use, including;

 

  • Overturning – on uneven ground, on slopes, from driving inappropriately
  • Unsafe procedures – using grain buckets to push in fencing stakes
  • Loads falling from height – bales, rubble, logs
  • Electrocution - from contact with Overhead Powerlines
  • Attachments – not appropriate for the telehandler or not attached securely and becoming detached

 

“Telehandlers and teleloaders should only be driven by authorised, trained and competent people who have completed appropriate training and testing”

(Source: www.hse.gov.uk )

 

4R Reassurance will facilitate Telehandler Training for you and your staff 

 

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