The RuralPayments Agency (RPA) is advising all farmers and food producers who want toclaim the 2015 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), or have a Rural DevelopmentProgramme land-based agreement, to read the latest cross compliance guidancefor 2015 which is published on GOV.UK.
RPA CustomerDirector Justin Chamberlain said: Our recent Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)update leaflets have been highlighting that some of the cross compliance ruleshave changed for 2015.
Ourcustomers can find comprehensive and up-to-date information on all the changesin one place on GOV.UK. Printed copies of the guidance will be going out to allcustomers before the end of the year.
The RPA iscommitted to supporting rural economies and would not wish farmers and foodproducer to miss out on vital EU funding. This is why we urge all thoseproposing to claim the new BPS or RDP land-based schemes next year tofamiliarise themselves with the rules, especially those highlighted with awarning triangle. These flag up areas of cross compliance which can attracthigh failure rates. Paying attention now could save you money next year.
All of the GoodAgricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs) and most of the SoilManagement Regulations (SMRs) have been renumbered and some GAECs have beensplit or merged into other rules.
What was SMR3 (sewage sludge) and SMRs 13, 14 and 15 (control of foot and mouth disease,certain animal diseases and bluetongue) have been removed.
What was GAEC11 (control of weeds) and 12 (agricultural land which is not in agriculturalproduction) have been removed. Instead, as part of the BPS eligibility rules,this agricultural land will need to be maintained so that it is kept clear ofdense scrub.
Some ruleshave been removed from the SMR for Wild Birds (SMR 2).
Claimants nolonger need to keep a Soil Protection Review (SPR). Instead, there are newrules for soils (GAECs 4, 5,and 6).
The rule onsustainable use has been removed from SMR 10 (plant protection products).
Under a newGAEC 7, rules for landscape features have changed. Changes to rules include:
Boundaryfeatures such as hedgerows and stone walls are now covered under GAEC 7a. Alsothere are new rules for the protection of stone banks and earth banks.
A longer notrimming season will apply for hedges and trees and will run from 1 Marchuntil 31 August inclusive. A derogation may be available to those wishing tosow oil seed rape or temporary grassland during August.