Farm ministers from Germany’s federal states have agreed to ringfence 25% of direct payments for eco schemes.

The move is a strong signal from the ministers and comes before negotiators in Brussels have finalised the reform of the next CAP.

They met for a two-day conference in Berlin and have urged the federal government to adopt their recommendations.

Germany has a total CAP budget in excess of €6bn and under the state ministers’ proposals, almost 50% would go towards environmental spending.

Eco schemes

A list of possible eco scheme measures has been produced which include:

  • Increasing the amount of non-productive areas on a farm - ie fallow land or landscape features such as hedgerows.
  • Creating wildflower areas on tillage farms.
  • Agroforestry systems on tillage land.
  • Increasing crop diversification with a minimum 10% legumes and at least five crops.
  • Creating low input pasture strips or islands on permanent grassland.
  • Along with a significant fund for eco schemes, funding for direct payments would be further reduced under plans to transfer money from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2.

    This would begin in 2023 with 10% moving and rising to 15% by 2026.

    It would result in 40% of the German CAP budget going to fund farm schemes.

    Other supports

    There would also be a front-loaded payment on the first 60ha and a €70/ha payment for young farmers on up to 120ha.

    The ministers agreed to ringfence 2% of the direct payment budget for coupled payments to support sheep and suckler farmers.

    There would be a premium of €30/ewe and €60/suckler cow, acting as a bonus for grazing animals.

    After transferring funds to Pillar 2, eco schemes, young farmer support, the grazing animal bonus and front-loaded payments, the remainder would paid as an annual payment per hectare.