GREENING FACTSHEET Welsh Edition November 2014 ORGANIC FARMS BASICS st 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 st 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. LAND DEFINITIONS 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, Land. 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% clear). PENALTIES 1. ECOLOGICAL FOCUS AREA (EFA) 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 calculated; No Exempt from Ecological Focus Area Requirement Yes >75% of Arable Land in temporary grass, fallow or legumes*? Yes Yes 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? No No >75% of Eligible Land in grass (permanent and temp.)? No Yes No 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. Feature Fallow Land Definition Conversion Factor Weighting st st No crop production or grazing from 1 Feb– 31 July 1.0 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 1m2 5m2 per m run 2.0 10m2 1m2 per m run 1.0 1m2 Short-rotation Coppice No applications of mineral fertiliser or agro -chemicals allowed. Maximum harvest cycle 20yrs. - 0.3 0.3m2 Afforested Land - 1.0 1m2 - 0.7 0.7m2 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. 2. CROP DIVERSIFICATION 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 exemptions. No Exempt from Crop Diversification Requirement Yes >75% of Arable Land in temporary grass or fallow? Yes No >75% of Eligible Land in grass (permanent and temp.)? Exempt from Crop Diversification Requirement Yes Exempt from Crop Diversification Requirement No Yes Is the remaining Arable Land 30 hectares (74 acres) or less? No No 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? Yes Minimum of two crops required Main crop cannot be more than 75% of Arable Land No 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). 3. PERMANENT GRASSLAND POLICING GREENING AGRI-ENVIRONMENT SCHEMES 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. HOW CAN ANDERSONS HELP? 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 Partner Mob: 07970 731 643 Tel: 01664 503211 [email protected] Joe Scarratt Business Consultant Mob: 07956 870 263 Tel: 01664 503204 [email protected] www.theandersonscentre.co.uk 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.
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