DEFRA have finally released guidance relating to how Farmers and Land Owners can deal with the hot and dry weather conditions particularly when meeting the requirements for Grants and Payment Schemes.
In particular, rules relating to Greening and Countryside Stewardship/Environmental Stewardship Agreements have been publicised.
Carys Studley of Rostons, Rural Surveyors and Agricultural Valuers based in Chester comments “particular concerns have been raised over EFA catch crops which are meant to be established under the rules by the 20th August”. DEFARA guidance states that advance warning to the RPA does not need to be made but all reasonable steps should be made to establish the catch crop an keep the relevant evidence. Alternative EFA measures can also be counted towards your EFA requirements even if they have not declared them.
Furthermore, anyone that has management options that have been complicated by the prolonged dry and warm weather under Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship can apply for either a derogation or temporary adjustment to Natural England.
If you have any further questions regarding this new guidance, please do contact the Rostons Team on 01829 773000.