From 2015, 30% of Pillar 1 payments to farmers will be linked to greening measures that must be undertaken to benefit the climate and environment. One of the requirements that farmers must meet is to ensure that 5% of their land is set aside in an Ecological Focus Area (EFA). The greening rules include crop diversification and EFAs for arable land. Details for EFA options were announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in June.
The package of EFA options gives farmers flexibility over how they comply with the rules. Farmers who need to have EFAs will be able to choose how to meet the requirement from a list which includes land lying fallow, buffer strips, ‘catch and cover crops’ used to manage soil fertility and quality, nitrogen fixing crops (such as legumes) and hedgerows. More information will be published on these new greening rules in mid-August.
To receive CAP payments, farmers must continue to meet cross compliance requirements. To reduce the burden on farmers, Defra has cut these measures from 17 to 11.
For the latest guidance and press releases on CAP reform, please visit the link below.