The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) provides valuable subsidies to UK farmers, but it isn’t money for nothing. Farmers who claim entitlements through the scheme have to follow cross compliance rules, which include Statutory Management Requirements (SMR) and Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC).
Signing up to the scheme means inspectors can arrive at your farm unannounced to check your operations and ensure your records are up to scratch. Thankfully, farm management software can take a lot of the stress out of an inspection, as Ceredigion farmer Sulwyn Jenkins has found.
Before using AgriWebb, record keeping was a chore and inspections could be agonising. “When it came to my inspection day, I’d be deciphering my diary, trying to find all the relevant information – licences and things like that – then putting it on an Excel sheet,” he says.
We shouldn’t be stressed by an inspection – it should all be there. We know we’ve done the job and done it properly; it’s just about getting it all in a simple format.
Now he knows a better way. “We shouldn’t be stressed by an inspection – it should all be there. We know we’ve done the job and done it properly; it’s just about getting it all in a simple format.”
AgriWebb does that for Sulwyn. Hit a few keys, and he can pull up any information he might need for an inspection.
The software helps with cross compliance on three main fronts:
Keep accurate records on the go
Rather than jotting down records in a notebook then transferring them to your computer (or a bottom drawer) at the end of the day, AgriWebb allows you to create secure, accurate records on the farm through your mobile phone.
Whether you’re spraying weeds, treating cattle, or moving sheep, you can record the job the moment you complete it. This prevents mistakes that can occur when transferring records from a notebook to a spreadsheet, or the risk that you’ll misplace your written records altogether.
AgriWebb also offers integration with UK government bodies (BCMS, etc.) responsible for livestock traceability, so your farm records match the ones in their databases.
Access reports in an instant
Even fastidious record keepers have a lot of work on their plate when inspection time rolls around if they aren’t using farm management software. Compiling a year’s records for an inspector can mean hours of work in the office.
AgriWebb automatically generates reports based on the data you input. Access clear, comprehensive reports on farm activities such as animal treatments and livestock movements in seconds. It takes the endless paperwork and unnecessary stress out of any inspection.
Streamline farm management
There can be a lot of work in following cross compliance rules – the 2020 guide for England runs to a hefty 80 pages.
Using AgriWebb’s Task Management feature means that you can get more out of your farm team. It is simple to assign tasks to workers, along with information such as the due date, GPS location and any details regarding the job concerned. Rest assured knowing the jobs that need doing get done, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Statutory Management Requirements that call for farm management software
While using AgriWebb streamlines all facets of farm management and simplifies record keeping, there are a number of Statutory Management Requirements where its value is even more obvious.
SMR 4: Food and feed law
SMR 4 ensures that food for human consumption and feed for food-producing animals is produced safely. An inspector may ask to see your records for livestock treatment and spray records to prove your compliance, both of which you can track and record on your phone in real time, and accessing a report for them will take mere seconds.
SMR 5: Restrictions on the use of substances having hormonal or thyrostatic action and beta-agonists in farm animals
Certain animal treatments are heavily restricted, and can only be administered by a veterinarian to clearly identified animals, with the details recorded by the vet.
AgriWebb allows you to make treatment records for individual animals so that you can easily observe the withdrawal period for the prescribed veterinary medicines in question and manage them accordingly.
SMR 7: Cattle identification and registration
If you’re raising cattle, you need a Holding Register with specific information about each of your animals.
The register must contain the following details:
- ear tag number
- date of birth
- date of movements on and off your holding
- details of where cattle moved to or from (with the CPH number or the name and address of the keeper)
- date of death.
Recording all this data in a notebook then transferring it onto your office computer is tedious and time consuming. Often the job gets forgotten, which leads to incomplete records and costly cross compliance breaches.
This isn’t a problem if you’re using AgriWebb. The farm management software automatically updates your Holding Register when you add details for an animal through the Individual Animal Management feature.
SMR 8: Sheep and goat identification
To control the spread of disease in livestock, it’s essential to identify sheep and goat and keep accurate records of movements. The information farmers have to record is extensive. Details include the following:
- holding details
- tag replacements
- sheep and goat movements on and off your holding
- the tags applied (unique individual ID numbers for individually identified animals; flock marks for slaughter animals)
- date of identification
- year of birth (on holding of birth)
- month/year of deaths (where known)
- breed and genotype
- annual count of animals on your holding as of 1 December each year.
SMR 13: Animal welfare
Animal welfare is at the forefront of any modern farming operation, and it’s important to take measures to safeguard it. As SMR 13 lays out, you must make sure, “your animals are looked after by enough staff with the right skills and knowledge” and that “ill or injured animals are cared for immediately and appropriately”.
For inspections, you need the following records:
- any medicinal treatment given to your animals
- the number of deaths found when the animals are inspected.