Please note that these key dates are specifically for Wales. Key dates for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland may differ.

January

1stYou must start following the rules in the relevant year’s cross compliance guide from this date. The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) year starts.
1stSMR 8: Stocktake record all sheep and goats being kept on 1 January.
1stApplies only to land previously in a NVZ – from this date 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 if conditions are suitable, and you adhere to the quantity restrictions for applying these manures. (SMR 1)
16th Applies to all land from 1st April 2021 – you can now apply Manufactured N Fertilisers to any soil type on grassland and tillage land on this date. (SMR 1)
31st      Applies only to land previously in a NVZ – from this date 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 other soils if conditions are suitable, and you adhere to the quantity restrictions for applying these manures. (SMR 1)

February

28th Applies only to land previously in a NVZ – end of the quantity restrictions for application of organic manures with a high readily available nitrogen content. 

March

1stGAEC 7: You must not cut hedgerows or trees from this date, but you can carry out hedge laying and coppicing during March providing nesting birds are not disturbed.
1stGAEC 4: Maintain minimum soil cover following harvest until this date.
15thGAEC 6: You must not burn heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse or vaccinium on land other than upland areas after this date.
31stGAEC 6: You must not burn heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse or vaccinium on land anywhere, including upland areas, after this date.
31stGAEC 7: You must not carry out hedge-laying or coppicing from this date unless you have permission from Welsh Government for training or educational purposes.

April

30th       SMR 1: You must have recorded the number and type of livestock kept on your farm and the amount of time the livestock spent on your farm during the previous calendar year. You must also have calculated the amount of nitrogen they produced in the previous calendar year by this date. You must also record the number and type of livestock in a building or hard standing during the previous storage period. (Applies only to land previously in a NVZ)

August

1st       SMR 1: Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content to tillage land on shallow or sandy soils (application is allowed between 1 August and 15 September as long as a crop is sown on or before 15 September). (Applies only to land previously in a NVZ)
1stGAEC 7: On arable land where the normal agricultural practice requires a winter arable crop is planted before 31 August, you may cut back relevant hedges or trees from this date as long as nesting birds are not disturbed.
31stGAEC 7: You may trim hedges and trees after this date.

September

1st    SMR 1: Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content to grassland on shallow or sandy soils. (Applies only to land previously in a NVZ)
1stSMR 1: Start of closed period for applying manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to tillage land.
15thSMR 1: Start of closed period for applying manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to grassland.

October

1stGAEC 6: You can burn heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse or vaccinium on land in upland areas from this date.
1stSMR 1: Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content to tillage land on soils which are not shallow or sandy. (Applies only to land previously in a NVZ)
15thSMR 1: Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content to grassland on soils which are not shallow or sandy.(Applies only to land previously in a NVZ)

November

1st

GAEC 6: You may burn heather, rough grass, bracken, gorse or vaccinium on all land types from this date.

 
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