Three crop ruling a major concern for many British farmers
NewsMonday 17 February 2014
A new rule, which will become a requirement of the next CAP, will require some farmers with over 30ha of arable land to grow three different crop types. And it has caused a lot of farmers in the UK to become concerned.
This new ruling will come into force from January 2015 and in order to meet it farmers will need to factor the new rule into cropping plans that are being made now and within the coming months.
Thousands of UK farmers are concerned over this new ruling and these issues have again been raised with the European Commission by the NFU President Peter Kendall.
Mr Kendall called this ruling “utter madness” and called upon the Commission to scrap the requirement at the earliest opportunity.
Speaking on the NFU’s official website, Mr Kendall said: “I have had countless calls from members completely at a loss to understand the logic behind this new requirement.
“By far the vast majority of those farmers practice crop rotation or have built up sustainable continuous cropping systems. They have built their businesses to generate efficiencies, moving towards block cropping, contract farming arrangements and share farming agreements. This rule undermines much of those efforts.
“The three crop rule goes against all of the NFU core policy principles of simplicity, market orientation, and increased efficiency. It will increase costs, reduce efficiency, increase traffic on rural roads and in some cases could lead to negative environmental consequences.
“It’s utter madness and should be scrapped at the earliest opportunity. I am afraid that in the short term, this is unlikely and farmers need to prepare themselves for the rule coming.
“I have asked the European Commission to come forward with a proposal to end this rule when it considers ecological focus areas in 2017. The NFU will work through its Brussels office to build alliances with farmers in other member states and I encourage those affected to raise their concerns directly with the MEPs and the candidates for the European Parliament elections in May who, if elected, would be in a position to call for change in Brussels.”