FWAG SouthWest Adviser, Sarah Wells recently took part in a BPS Greening update webinar. A summary of the main points is shown below which we hope will aid farm businesses in planning how to meet the 2018 Greening requirements for BPS. Please note that these may be liable to minor amendments, the final guidelines are anticipated for release in February 2018.
Summary of BPS Greening Update:
- Crop diversification rules will remain largely unchanged however there may be some additional exemptions available.
- The area requirement for Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) is still 5% of arable area (farms with over 15ha of arable).
- The use of Plant Protection Products on all EFA crops is prohibited from sowing through to harvest. This will potentially affect N-fixing crops grown for EFAs that have been sown in Autumn 2017 for harvest in 2018.
- Lines of trees are to be included as an EFA option similar to hedgerows.
- 1m field margins also to be included as EFA option which can be used around any boundary or internal feature of a arable field. This can overlap the Cross Compliance field margin requirements adjacent to hedgerows.
- The period for catch crops has been extended so that they must be in the ground for 8 weeks from 20th August to 14th October.
- The re-mapping exercise undertaken by the RPA has caused some changes in land use classification (i.e field corners that have not been cultivated for a number of years may have been re-classified as permanent pasture). Check RPA maps carefully to ensure features planned to be used as EFAs are still adjacent to arable land.
This information is a brief summary of the DEFRA Farming Advice Service (FAS) webinar held on 19/12/2017