More information on the new greening rules has been announced by Defra. We now know that:
- Farmers with 10ha or more arable land, which includes temporary grassland and fallow land, will be most affected.
- The possibility of ‘opting out’ has been removed.
- Land certified as organic or ‘in conversion’ will not require greening measures.
Crop Diversification Rule:
If you have more than 10ha of arable land you are likely to be affected by the crop diversification rule and need to ensure your 2015 rotation meets the new requirements. There are exemptions for some farms with less than 30 ha of arable land, e.g. farms with at least 75% of arable land or total eligible agricultural area in grassland and/or fallow and for farmers taking on a lot of new land in 2015. These exemptions can appear complicated but FWAG SouthWest can help you work out if they apply to you.
Ecological Focus Areas:
If you have more than 15 ha of arable land you will need to choose Ecological Focus Areas (EFA’s) equivalent to 5% of the eligible arable area. There are exemptions similar to the crop diversification rule. Claimants can choose from 6 different measures and FWAG SW Advisers can help you to select the options that will work best for your farm business and the environment.
ELS & OELS Agreements:
There are 19 ELS options which are affected by Ecological Focus Area (EFA's) rules under greening. However not all agreement holders are affected, it depends on the type of agreement and the start date. ELS and OELS agreements starting after 1st January 2012 are affected by EFA’s if they include any of the 19 options. If you were affected Natural England should have written to you in the autumn offering you the chance to :
- Amend your agreement to make up the points.
- Take a reduced payment.
- Leave the scheme without penalty.
# PLEASE NOTE: This chance to amend or leave the schemes was a ‘one-off’ offer and you must have replied to NE by 15th November 2014. If you failed to reply by the deadline Natural England will assume you are happy to accept the reduced payment option.
FWAG SW’s team of experienced advisers can help you understand and implement all of the new rules on your farm, ensuring they work for your business and benefit the environment.
Join as a FWAG SW member now to take advantage of reduced rates and priority appointments.