Every year, around 2,000 farmers are penalised for breaches of the Nitrates regulations. Mostly it is due to a lack of understanding of the regime. It is not so much about the granular fertiliser you buy as the nitrogen and phosphorus generated by the stock on your farm and the meal they eat.

This year has seen 14,000 farmers receive a text notification that they were near the limits, and would need to be careful to avoid a breach and automatic penalty. That was back in early November.