Welsh Edition November 2014
The new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) starts on the 1
January 2015. ‘Greening’ will be an important part of this.
Approximately 30% of a claimant’s total BPS payment is
conditional on complying with the Greening rules.
There are three standard Greening measures that all
farmers across the EU need to comply with;
1. Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs)
2. Crop Diversification
3. Retention of Permanent Grassland
The following sections provide a checklist of what
claimants need to consider.
Land that is certified as being organic is exempt from the
Greening requirements (although the Greening payment
will still be made). Where a holding is part-organic, partconventional, only the organic land will be exempt from
the Greening rules. The non-organic land needs to satisfy
the crop diversification rules and EFA rules alone. EFA
features sited on the organic land will not be counted.
Alternatively the exemption can be ignored and the
Greening requirements applied across the whole holding.
This may be helpful for farms growing too few crops on
their non-organic land to meet crop diversification rules.
Land that has been put into grass under an agrienvironment arable reversion option will still be treated as
Under Greening there will be three basic types of land;
Permanent Grassland.
1. Permanent Grassland
Permanent Crops - is any land in crops that are in place for
2. Permanent Crops
five years or more without replanting and yields repeated
3. Arable Land
harvests. Examples would be miscanthus, short-rotation
Of these, Arable Land is the most important for Greening.
All three categories added together comprise the claimant’s coppice, nurseries, vines, orchards, etc.
Arable Land - is any eligible land that is not Permanent
Eligible Agricultural Land (also known as eligible area).
Greening is calculated across the whole ‘BPS holding’ - Grassland or Permanent Crops. It includes fallow land and
i.e. on all the land entered onto a single claim form, even if temporary grass as well as crops. The Welsh Government
has written to claimants to inform them of their arable area.
this is made up of multiple farms or units.
Permanent Grassland - is any land that has been in grass There will be dates when fallow land has to be uncropped
the year - for EFA this is between the 1st Feb and
for five years or longer. The 6th time a field is entered on during
the claim form as grass it becomes Permanent Grassland. 31 July, however it has not yet been announced if this will
It does not matter if the grass has been reseeded, it is the be the same for crop diversification rules
length of time the land has been out of the arable rotation Temporary grass is simply grassland (or other ‘herbaceous
rather than the age of the sward itself. The planting of a forage’) that has not been in place for over five years.
catch-crop such as stubble turnips would break the five- Note that Greening is a yearly test. As cropping changes
year sequence, but this would need to be demonstrated.
the areas of each land type will alter year-on-year. This
Grass includes other ‘herbaceous forage’ - lucerne, means that claimants’ Greening requirements could
change for different years of the BPS.
sainfoin, vetches and clovers.
thus, when penalties are added together, if they are at
the maximum for both crop diversification and EFA,
If the Greening measures are not followed then the
the full 30% Greening payment will be lost on Arable
Greening payment will be reduced. The rules are complex,
but can be summarised as follows;
 the penalties for the crop diversification and EFA The legislation sets out various ‘administrative
elements are calculated and applied separately (then penalties’. These are waived for 2015 and 2016, but for
2017 have the effect of taking the maximum penalty to
added together at the end of the process)
 Greening penalties are only applied to the Arable Land. 120% of the Greening payment, and 125% for 2018
(Not land in Permanent Grassland or Permanent Crops). onwards.
 for each part of Greening (EFA / Crop Diversification)
In a few situations it may make sense for claimants to
the range of penalties is from 0% up to 15% of the BPS
deliberately fail to do ‘Greening’ as the penalties will be
on Arable Land
lower than the farming losses Greening causes. This
 the penalty is calculated based on how much of a
would have to be carefully calculated on a case-by-case
shortfall there is against the Greening requirement - if
basis. Claimants would also have to ensure there are no
the requirement has been ignored completely then it
additional rules on ‘intentional’ non-compliance with
will be a 15% penalty; a minor shortfall will incur a
Greening that result in harsher penalties (this is not yet
penalty close to 0%
Ecological Focus Area can be thought of as ‘environmental
set-aside’. It is generated by Arable Land (see definition
on the previous page). There is a requirement to have an
area equal to 5% of the Arable Land in EFA.
Is there more than 15 hectares
(37 acres) of ‘Arable Land’?
The EFA requirement could increase to 7% after 2017.
The flowchart below sets out the various thresholds and
exemptions and allows the amount of EFA to be
Exempt from Ecological Focus
Area Requirement
>75% of Arable Land in
temporary grass, fallow or
Exempt from Ecological Focus
Area Requirement
Is the remaining Arable Land 30 Yes
hectares (74 acres) or less?
Exempt from Ecological Focus
Area Requirement
Is the remaining Arable Land 30
hectares (74 acres) or less?
>75% of Eligible Land in grass
(permanent and temp.)?
An area equal to 5% of Arable
Land must be put into EFA
* leguminous crops are alfalfa, lucerne, medick, birdsfoot
trefoil, chickpea, beans, clover, peas, vetch, lentil, soya,
lupins and sainfoin.
The EFA requirement can be satisfied by land other than
fallow. Outlined below are the six options chosen by the
Welsh Government for 2015. Other UK Administrations
have made different choices, and there may be changes to
the rules in future years.
The EFA requirement must be sited on, or adjacent to,
arable land. This means that a hedge between two
Permanent Grassland fields would not be eligible for EFA.
Features separated from arable land by a ineligible BPS
feature e.g. a hard track will not be eligible for EFA.
A ‘matrix’ system will be worked out to convert linear
features like hedges into an area equivalent, the use of such
features is likely to complicate the application process.
The matrix will also give different features different
weightings in terms of EFA area, depending on how
environmentally beneficial they are deemed to be.
Fallow Land
Conversion Factor Weighting
No crop production or grazing from 1 Feb– 31 July
No plantings allowed in this period other than
wild bird and nectar mixes. Existing temporary grass
can be used for fallow, grass cannot be sown during the
fallow period. Minimum width 2m, minimum area 0.01Ha.
Hedges 
Up to 10m wide, minimum length 20m.
There must be no gaps in the canopy.
Minimum height 1m, maximum width 4m.
Minimum length 20m, no gaps allowed.
Must be dry stone walls of slate or stone.
Stone Walls 
EFA Area
5m2 per m run
1m2 per m run
Short-rotation Coppice No applications of mineral fertiliser or agro
-chemicals allowed. Maximum harvest cycle 20yrs.
Afforested Land
Land which was eligible for the Single Payment in
2008 and has been planted to trees. Does not need to be
next to arable land.
Nitrogen-Fixing Crops A single crop or a mixture of nitrogen fixing crops. 
In place by 15th May for 14 weeks or until 1st August.
 If one side of a hedge or stone wall is under someone else’s control only half the feature will count for EFA. Newly
planted hedges will not be eligible.
Eligible species are alder, silver birch, european ash, sweet chestnut, willow, poplar, hazel, lime and sycamore. Spot
treatment of invasive non-native species allowed. Located on any agriculutral land (i.e. does not need be be adjacent to
arable land)
 Eligible crops are listed as leguminous crops above.
Claimants with more than 10 hectares of Arable Land on
their holding will need to have a variety of crops.
Is there more than 10 hectares
(25 acres) of ‘Arable Land’?
The flowchart below sets out the various thresholds and
Diversification Requirement
>75% of Arable Land in
temporary grass or fallow?
>75% of Eligible Land in
grass (permanent and temp.)?
Diversification Requirement
Diversification Requirement
Is the remaining Arable Land 30
hectares (74 acres) or less?
Is the Arable Land on the
holding between 10 and 30
hectares (25-74 acres)?
Is the remaining Arable Land 30 Yes
hectares (74 acres) or less?
Minimum of two crops required
Main crop cannot be more than 75% of Arable Land
Therefore Arable Land is
over 30 hectares (74 acres)
Minimum of three crops required
Main crop cannot be more than 75% of Arable land
Two main crops together cannot be more than 95% of Arable Land
What is a ‘Crop’?
For the purposes of Greening this will be defined as plants
of a different genera (or species in the case of brassicas).
In practical terms this means that wheat, barley, oats,
oilseed rape, potatoes, sugar beet etc. will all be separate
crops. Fallow and temporary grass will also be crops.
Spring and winter varieties will be treated as separate crops
The National List (published by FERA) will be used to
distinguish varieties. See - http://www.fera.defra.gov.uk/
plants/publications/gazette.cfm, click on 'Special Edition'
for 2014 then look for a small (s) or (w) for spring and
winter next to the variety name. For pulses the PGRO
Recommended List will be used. In England for those
varieties not in the lists above the EC Common Catalogue
should be used to detemine if a crop is a winter (forma
hibernalis ) or a spring crop (forma aestiva).
There are some oddities that need to be watched;
 onions, garlic, and leeks will be a single crop
 cabbages, cauliflower, calabrese, broccoli, sprouts and
kale are all one crop.
Note that there is a further crop diversification exemption
designed for specialist crop growers (potatoes, veg etc.). It
covers situations where land is taken on short-term
tenancies for one year to grow such crops. The exemption
has two parts;
1. more than 50% of the Eligible Land must not have been
claimed by the farmer in the previous year (i.e. the
farmer must have taken on new land that year), and
2. all the Arable Land must be growing a different crop
from the previous year (likely, if cereals land has been
taken on to grow a specialist crop for one year).
Where crops are under-sown, it will be the main crop that
counts (i.e. not the under-sown one).
Where there is a genuine mix of crops sown, that mix can
be treated as a separate, distinct crop at Member State
discretion. If two different mixes are grown they can count
as separate crops if the species in each mix are different
from each other and they do not fall under the Temporary
Grassland definition.
If this occurs, a restriction on ploughing will be introduced.
The area of Permanent Grassland has increased over time
It was originally proposed that individual farms would
so it is unlikely that restrictions will be introduced.
need to maintain an equivalent amount of Permanent
Grassland on their holdings as in a base year. It has now This means there is effectively no change from the current
been decided that in the UK this requirement will be situation (there is already a national Grassland retention
rule under cross-compliance). Farmers will be at liberty to
operated at a national level.
plough up Permanent grassland if they wish. However
National Governments will be required to ensure that the claimants should remember the Environmental Impact
area of Permanent Grassland does not fall below 95% of a Assessment rules on ploughing-out natural grassland.
reference area (effectively the area of PP in 2015).
Greening will make the process of applying for support
much more testing. And this is not only an issue for the
2015 year; the calculations will have to be re-run each year
as cropping patterns change.
The claim form is likely to have to be redesigned for the
new BPS scheme.
The Welsh Government has written to all farmers
informing them of their arable areas. Note though that this
only shows the arable area as at summer 2014. It is the
area as at May 2015 which will drive the calculation of
Greening. This could be different - e.g. if Permanent
Grassland is ploughed, or grass reaches its 5th season.
The basic presumption will be that the crops entered onto
the claim form will drive the crop diversification test.
However, as some crops will not be there as at the 15 th
May, flexibility will be built into the system. It will not be
possible to claim more than one crop on an area of land in
any one year however.
Claimants with Arable land (and thus potentially required
to undertake Greening) need to identify any potential EFAeligible features on their land. Field Maintenance Forms
had to be submitted to the Welsh Government by the 31 st
October 2014 highlighting these. These features will then
be shown on the 2015 BPS Single Application Form (SAF)
and be available to put towards the EFA requirement in
2015, and future years.
Greening compliance will be the subject of inspections in
the same way as the rest of the CAP.
The interaction of Greening (especially EFAs) with
existing agri-environmental schemes such as Glastir is an
unresolved issue.
EU ‘double funding’ rules do not allow land being used to
generate agri-environmental payments to also contribute to
meeting Greening (e.g. a Glastir field margin could not be
used as EFA).
The Welsh Government has not yet announced how such
overlaps are to be dealt with. In England, the outcome was
that areas under agri-environment agreements could be
used for Greening, but there was a reduction in
environmental scheme payments.
We understand the Greening rules and, importantly, we
also understand what the on-farm implications are.
We can help you work out what these new rules mean for
your business, and how to comply at least cost.
Of course, the new BPS is about more than just Greening.
We are also able to advise on other elements of the scheme
such as the Young Farmers Scheme, Activer Farmer,
National Reserve claims, and maximising Entitlement
allocation. Over the medium term, many businesses will
find their support levels reduce under the BPS. We can
help you improve your farm’s performance to replace the
lost subsidy income.
David Thomas
Senior Business Consultant
Mob: 07850 224 524
Tel: 01874 625 856
[email protected]
Kerry Jerman
Business Consultant
Mob: 07990 063 803
Tel: 01874 625 856
[email protected]
Tony Evans
Mob: 07970 731 643
Tel: 01664 503211
[email protected]
Joe Scarratt
Business Consultant
Mob: 07956 870 263
Tel: 01664 503204
[email protected]
This leaflet is provided in good faith for information purposes. The Greening rules are not yet certain and
subject to change. No responsibility is taken by The Andersons Centre LLP practices for any inaccuracies or
omissions it contains. In all practical situations you are advised to take specific professional advice.