Crop Diversification for 2020
As we march through January with no significant improvement in ground conditions, BPS Claimants should be mindful of their crop diversification obligation. Thirty per cent of the total value of BPS is dependent upon meeting the three (or two) crop rule, which some farmers will struggle with after a wet autumn.
It is looking unlikely that the RPA will allow a dispensation in light of this, so we urge farmers to review their cropping plans with crop diversification in mind, and in doing so it will be useful to remember what options/exemptions are available as standard.
· If the area in fallow, temporary grass or legumes together makes up more than 75% of arable – the claimant is exempt from the three crop rule.
· If more than 75% of agricultural area is temporary grass or permanent grass – the claimant is exempt from the three crop rule.
· Any uncropped land which can be managed as fallow can be classed as a crop for crop diversification purposes.
· Crops which have been drilled but subsequently abandoned can either be managed as fallow or classed as the original crop – just keep evidence if necessary, such as seed invoices.
If all else fails, a claimant can apply for an exemption under Force Majeure. You but won’t be able to apply until later in Spring and you must be able to demonstrate that all reasonable steps to meet the three crop rule have been taken, seed invoices/delivery notes, photos, and rainfall data to demonstrate conditions.
Please contact the Agricultural team for further guidance.