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Union Secures Greening Rule Change Commitment From Scottish Government

NFU Scotland has secured a commitment from Scottish Government that several rules associated with the Greening element of farm support will be changed.

NFUS has regularly raised its concerns that Scottish Government interpretation of certain rules place Scottish growers at a disadvantage compared to farmers in other parts of the UK and Europe.

In a letter to the Union, Scottish Government has confirmed that changes to the rule book will be made and farmers informed of the new requirements in due course and in time for 2018 scheme year.

The changes will permit the following (see Notes to Editors for detailed explanation):

• Field drains on Ecological Focus Area (EFA) fallow land can be maintained providing certain conditions are met.

• Farmers will be allowed to establish EFA fallow on land claimed the previous year as temporary grassland in year five (TGRS 5).

NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “We thank the Scottish Government for taking on board the arguments made by NFU Scotland on these points.  I firmly believe these common-sense improvements on Greening rules will still deliver on all the environmental and biodiversity requirements set by Greening but give farmers greater flexibility on how they manage EFA fallow land.”  Ends 

Notes for editors

• Under the current Scottish Government rules drainage work has not been permitted to be undertaken on fields declared as EFA Fallow during the period 15 January to 15 July.  From 2018, maintenance of drains on EFA fallow will be allowed up to 15 March annually with “further flexibility for exceptional circumstances such as exceptional rainfall and flooding in the remaining period”.  This is subject to a caveat that drainage “activities do not jeopardise the biodiversity objective of the EFA” 

• In 2015, land declared in Scotland on the previous year’s Single Application Form as temporary grass (TGRS) years 1 through 5 could be claimed as EFA Fallow.  For 2016 and 2017 only land declared as TGRS 1 to 4 could be claimed.  This announcement changes the rules back to how they were in 2015, giving greater flexibility.

For more information contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 98/17


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