DEFRA have announced a derogation for Ecological Focus Areas to help with the shortage of fodder and grazing. This will be in place by the 30th September 2018 to help those with Countryside Stewardship or Environmental Stewardship agreements.
The derogation, agreed by the EU, allows farmers to plant herbaceous forage crops, grass or autumn sown winter cropping which can be grazed or harvested for forage on areas previously registered as Ecological Focus Area (EFA) on 2018 BPS applications. The existing establishment deadlines will still apply to the new forage crop options. Existing areas of EFA which have already had a green cover or cover crop established must now only be established for 4 weeks before land can be cultivated again for the establishment of one of the above grass, herbaceous forage or other Autumn sown winter cropping for forage purposes.
If you do not apply for this derogation you must ensure your cover crops and green cover remains established until the 15th January as stated in existing agreements.
To ensure the derogation is applied to any of your EFA’s the RPA must be notified via email. Please ensure the subject used in ‘EFA Derogation’.
Tony Rimmer of Rostons comments “This will be a very useful derogation for farmers currently under pressure to provide fodder for their livestock. Please do not hesitate to contact Rostons if you need assistance on this matter.”