As you may be aware the greening requirements under the Basic Payment Scheme have undergone a recent review. This was badged as making ‘greening simpler’ however as you will see below this is not the case!
The EU decision makers have brought in a series of changes which will have an impact on a significant number of businesses.
We have summarised these changes below, with the details which are known to date:
- EFA catch/cover crop minimum period extended:
The minimum period the crop must be in place will now be eight weeks
- Ban on plant production products on productive land used to count as EFA (catch/cover crops, fallow or nitrogen fixing crops)
Details are yet to be fully released but working on the basis of ‘plan for the ban’ this will have a large impact on those farming businesses which are currently using peas/beans/nitrogen fixing crops to meet their EFA requirement.
- Merging EFA buffer strips with field margins
Currently EFA buffer strips next to watercourses are restricted to one metre meaning the rest of the field margin cannot effectively be counted as EFA. There is proposal for this to change however this must first be approved by Defra.
These changes will come in to place from 1st January 2018.
It is important that you review the impact on your business NOW before the cropping for 2017/18 is finalised.
Please contact Jenna, Lucy, Simon or James to discuss the changes and what options there are to consider for your farm.
Telephone 01380 724687