The option to apply for an exemption from the two/three crop greening rule has been extended to all tillage farmers by the Department of Agriculture due to the exceptionally wet weather seen early this year.
In a normal year, farmers with between 10ha and 30ha of arable land must grow at least two crops while those with more than 30ha must grow at least three crops.
However, record rainfall in February has left many tillage farmers with limited crop options.
An exception was introduced in January 2020 for some farmers due to the difficult weather conditions experienced in autumn 2019, this is now extended to all farmers.
A recent upswing in weather conditions has seen planting resume in most parts of the country.
According to the Department: “Tillage farmers may choose the crop options that best suit the soil conditions and the time of the year. If as a result of these choices a farmer does not comply with the crop diversification rules an exemption may be granted.”
Farmers who wish to avail of the exemption must do so through their 2020 BPS application. However, this does not guarantee it will be granted and each request will be considered by the Department on a case by case basis.
Any queries in relation to the exception should be directed to the Greening Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IFA grain chair Mark Browne welcomed the decision. He said the extension would alleviate some of the pressure on tillage farms during this difficult time.
Notwithstanding the derogation and the lateness of the season, Browne encouraged farmers to plant, weather allowing, already scheduled crops of spring wheat and beans in particular. This would ensure sufficient spring barley seed and the native supply of wheat and protein crops, he said.
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