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• fallow land
• catch crops and cover crops To be counted as an EFA, the area or feature must be ‘at your disposal’ and be on – or next to – a farmer’s arable land.
Land used for nitrogen-fixing crops, catch crops and cover crops, and fallow land will count as arable land. Any buffer strips or hedgerows that are included as part of an EFA must be next to arable land too.
We don’t have all the details on hedges for EFAs yet, because we’re Hedges still discussing some of the rules with the European Commission. More information on hedges will be published in October, but we can confirm
Hedges can be used as an EFA feature if:
• the length of the hedge is located between two arable land parcels that are at your disposal, and
• both sides of the hedge are next to the arable crops in those land parcels Pages 32-33 explain how to measure these types of hedges.
We are checking with the European Commission how hedges that are next to arable land at your disposal on one side (not both) should be measured for EFAs. This means we are not sure yet how hedges should
be measured where one side is next to a:
• non-arable land parcel under your control
• land parcel under you neighbours control, or
• non-agricultural area (a road for example).
More information will be published on how these should be measured in October.
We’re also discussing with the Commission how:
• gaps in hedges will be handled
• hedges which have features or areas of land that separate them from crops on arable land (for example hedges with a ditch between them and the arable crops) can be used.
If a farmer wants to use hedges as part of their EFA, this could delay their BPS 2015 payment. This is because the European Commission requires us to make sure that hedges have been declared correctly in BPS applications. We will do all that we can to minimise any delays.
Ecological Focus Areas: the rules (continued)
Ecological Focus Areas: the rules (continued) More than one feature / area on the same piece of land Under the EFA rules, there can be more than one feature or area on the same land parcel – as long as they don’t occupy exactly the same area of land during the year.
For example, catch crops could be grown on one half of the land parcel and nitrogenfixing crops on the other. However, if nitrogen-fixing crops were grown, then a catch or cover crop was grown on exactly the same area of land in the same year, they couldn’t both be claimed as EFA areas.
How to meet the EFA Rules The new CAP Information Service can help farmers work out if they are meeting the crop diversification and EFA rules, so long as an applicant enters the right land and feature details for their holding.
To check if they’ll be meeting the 5% requirement, farmers will need to:
1. work out their EFA requirement
2. measure their features and areas (checking they’re on or next to their arable land)
3. work out what their features and areas are worth under the EFA rules
4. see if they have the equivalent of 5%
1. Work out the EFA requirement To work out the equivalent of 5% of the total arable land that is declared on the BPS application, take the amount of arable land and multiply it by 0.05.
2. Measure the features and areas The table below explains how each of the features and areas need to be measured if they are being used for an EFA.
*The European Commission are planning to increase the amount nitrogen-fixing crops are worth under the EFA rules from 0.3 to 0.7 square-metres. They haven’t published the regulation with this change in yet, but for this leaflet we have used 0.7 square-metres. We’ll let you know when this has been confirmed by the commission.
You have 120 hectares of arable land you plan to claim on in 2015 with:
• 8,800 metres of hedges (you are using both sides of your qualifying hedges) • 2,500 metres of buffer strips.
• 1 hectare of spring beans (nitrogen-fixing crop) You need 6 hectares of EFA (5% of 120 hectares).
Ecological Focus Areas: the rules (continued) Convert your hedges and buffer strips to show what they are worth for EFA using the
numbers in the table on the previous page:
• Hedges: when you are including both sides 1 metre of length is worth 10 squaremetres, so multiply the number of metres of hedge by 10.
8,800 x 10 = 88,000 square-metres
• Buffer strips: 1 metre of length is worth 9 square-metres, so multiply the number of metres of buffer strip by 9.
2,500 x 9 = 22,500 square-metres Then convert your hectare of beans into square-metres (1 hectare is equal to 10,000
1x10,000 = 10,000 square-metres
To convert your square-metres into hectares, divide by 10,000. So the area of your
EFA in hectares is:
117,500 / 10,000 = 11.75 hectares.
4. See if there is the equivalent of 5% To work out if a farmer’s Ecological Focus Area is the equivalent of 5% of their total arable land, divide the total area of your EFA by the total arable area. Then multiply this answer by 100. This will give you the EFA percentage (%). If it’s 5% or more, that meets the EFA rules.
There is no penalty if you have more than 5%. You might want to have more than the equivalent of 5% to make sure you meet the rules.
Example You have 120 hectares of arable land and 11.75 hectares of EFA features/areas. To work out the percentage your areas and features are worth, divide the amount of EFA area you have by the hectares of arable land you have.
In the example shown in this leaflet, this would mean dividing 11.75 hectares of EFA features by 120 hectares of arable land. Then multiplying the answer by 100 to
convert it into a percentage:
11.75 / 120 = 0.0979
0.0979 x 100 = 9.79% In this example, the rules are being met as the equivalent of more than 5% of the total arable land is an EFA. Having more than 5% is acceptable under the greening rules.
Greening: some other things you need to know Dual use We will publish more information in October on whether different people will be able to use the same land to claim payments under BPS and another scheme at the same time.
We do know that where land is let out under a tenancy agreement (Agricultural Holdings
Act or Farm Business Tenancy):
• the tenant will need to include that land when working out their greening requirement
• the landlord would not include that land as part of their greening requirement.
Greening and your agri-environment payment If a farmer has an Entry Level Stewardship (ELS), Organic ELS or Uplands ELS agreement which started on or after 1 January 2012, the agri-environment payment for some of their options could be reduced. Natural England will write to those farmers that have these agreements soon to tell them how their payments may be affected and about the choices available to them.
If a farmer is told by Natural England that their payment will be reduced, they will have until 15 November 2014 to tell Natural England what they want to do.
If a farmer has an Entry Level Stewardship (ELS), Organic ELS (OELS) or Uplands ELS agreement which started before 1 January 2012, their payment won’t be affected.
Payments for options under Higher Level Stewardship and payments for ELS/OELS agreements that underpin HLS, where they also run for 10 years, won’t be affected by greening. The Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreement start date is not relevant.
Environmental Stewardship agreement holders may be able to use some of their options to meet EFA. That includes those with an ELS, Organic ELS or Uplands ELS agreement that started on, or after 1 January 2012.
Cross border farming: land in England and somewhere else in the UK Businesses that farm in England and somewhere else in the UK (Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland), will need to meet the greening rules at a holding level. This means that they will need to count all of their land in the UK as one and make sure they meet the new rules across all of their land as a whole.
What this means for crop diversification rules The crop diversification rules apply across the whole of their holding. It doesn’t matter which part of the UK the land is in. So if a farmer has land in England and Wales and
• main crop (65%) in England • 2nd crop (25%) in England • 3rd crop (10%) in Wales they would meet the crop diversification rules.
What this means for Ecological Focus Areas It means the same for the EFA rules as well – all land must be treated as one holding. For example, if a farmer’s main holding is in England, but they also have land in Scotland, they could use areas or features on their Scottish land to count towards their EFA to meet the greening rules.
However, there are some complications. We know there are some differences in the areas and features which other parts of the UK count as EFAs. So, although 5% can be made up of areas and features from anywhere a farmer has eligible land in the UK, that farmer will also need to make sure that each area or feature that they use qualifies as an EFA for the part of the UK it’s in.
There are differences. For example in England a farmer can use buffer strips next to water courses to meet the rule, but in Northern Ireland they can’t.
Transferring land during the Basic Payment Scheme year If land is transferred during the Basic Payment Scheme year, it will still need to meet the greening rules.
If a farmer transfers out land before 15 May 2015, they won’t be able to include it in their Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claim. That land will also not count towards them meeting the greening rules. The person they transfer the land to can include it in their BPS claim and that person would then be responsible for meeting the greening rules.
If a farmer transfers land out after 15 May, they will still be responsible for making sure that any greening features or areas they declared on that land are maintained for the rest of the year.
If a farmer transfers land out after 15 May and any greening features or areas on that land are changed or removed, or the land cannot be inspected, they might lose some of their greening payment.
Claimants will need to carefully consider the terms of any transfer before transferring any land.
More information informationCAP Reform MoreCountdown
More information will be published throughout the rest of the year. Meanwhile, there
is further information at:
• www.gov.uk/cap-reform – this web page is dedicated to CAP reform. It’s got all the latest news, as well as all the leaflets and publications we’ve released so far.
• ‘An Introduction to the new Common Agricultural Policy schemes in England’ – this leaflet was published in April 2014 and can be found on GOV.UK at the address above. It gives a simple summary of the new schemes and explains what to expect over the coming months.
• ‘CAP reform in England: What you need to know’ – this was sent to farmers who claim for the Single Payment Scheme in March 2014. It includes information about transferring SPS entitlements before the scheme ends, as well as an introduction to the crop diversification rules. It can be found on GOV UK at the address above.
The main European regulations governing the Basic Payment Scheme and greening are EU Regulation No. 1307/2013 and EU Regulation No. 1306/2013.
Farming Advice Service The Farming Advice Service offers advice on greening and cross compliance, for more information call 0345 345 1302 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Farming Advice Service also offers information through events. To see if there are events planned near you, visit www.farmingadviceservice.org.uk/events/ Campaign for the Farmed Environment The Campaign for the Farmed Environment can provide information on how to protect and enhance the environmental value of your farmland. Visit their website for more information: www.cfeonline.org.uk.
Disclaimer/legal notice This leaflet is our interpretation of the current regulations and draft regulations for the Common Agricultural Policy schemes from 2015. Only the courts can give a definitive interpretation of the law.
You may want to get independent professional or legal advice before you change anything about your business. We cannot advise you or your legal representatives on your business structure.
August 2014 CAPLF003 © Crown copyright 2014 Produced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs www.gov.uk/cap-reform