As part of Common Agriculture Policy Reform, farmers need to demonstrate compliance with Greening measures to receive Basic Payment in 2015 in full, 30% of the payment made of this Greening element.
The Welsh Government have just published a Guide to the Greening Rules which will not be a quick read for most.
The Key points are:
- Crop Diversification
- If 10 – 30 Ha of arable land – need at least 2 arable crops (main crop not more than 75% of arable land).
- 30+ Ha of arable land – need at least 3 arable crops (main crop no more than 75% and 2 main crops not more than 95% of arable land).
A full list of eligible crops is now published (note: arable land includes fallow land and temporary grass of less than 5 years).
There are a list of important exemptions including:
Exemptions for those with more than 75% of eligible agricultural land as grassland (permanent and temporary) and for those with more than 75% of arable land as temporary grassland and fallow.
- Ecological Focus Areas (EFA)
Basically, farms with over 15 Ha of arable land will need 5% as EFA. Features eligible for EFA are fallow, hedges, stone walls, short rotation coppice, afforested land and nitrogen fixing crops.
Again there are exemptions e.g. if more than 75% of eligible agricultural land is grassland (permanent and temporary) or if 75% of arable land is temporary grassland, fallow and legumes.
Details are now published of how to calculate EFA area for the linear features (hedges and stone walls). The complexity continues as it depends whether hedges border arable land or permanent grass. Welsh Government will want those EFA areas identified by the end of October 2014.
Every farm in Wales will need to assess their Greening requirements on an individual basis, they will need to see if they are exempt or if changes are required to comply. Remember cropping this Autumn will need to be compliant.