Yesterday DEFRA announced that greening requirements as part of the Basic Payment Scheme Application from 2021 will no longer be required.
The previous greening requirements, that required farmers to carry out specific practices (including the 3 crop rule and the requirement to have Ecological Focus Areas) in order to maximise their BPS payment was an EU directive, however, it has proven to deliver little to the environment.
The cutting of red tape and the proposal to simplify the Basic Payment Scheme will be welcomed by farmers throughout England. It is well publicised that the agricultural transition period will see payments to farmers in England phased out over the next 7 years. The new system for rewarding farmers for delivering public goods such as creating or restoring habitats for wildlife, tree or hedge planting and river management to mitigate flooding is known as Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS).
ELMS are expected to be commencing towards 2024 and will look to deliver better environmental outcomes and reverse the decline of some of England’s more cherished species.
Holly Wybergh of Rostons stated “The greening requirements for the Basic Payment Scheme can be a headache to farmers and no doubt, this will be welcomed news. We hope that this simplification of the
Basic Payment Scheme will continue throughout the transition period.”