The crop diversification requirements under CAP, more commonly known as the two- and three-crop rule, will not apply to tillage farmers in 2024.

The Department of Agriculture applied for a derogation from the rules from the EU Commission in February, but legal issues surrounded granting this derogation.

As a result, the Department is now implementing force majeure given the poor weather which has been prevalent since last September.

This weather has disrupted harvest of crops, the planting of winter crops and up to now virtually no spring crops have been planted.

Many farmers have been under pressure to meet these requirements. Leniency in the rules will help farmers in what has been an extremely difficult season for farmers.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said that the adverse weather and seed shortage has restricted the crop options for tillage farmers this spring.

“Met Éireann data shows that most rainfall stations experienced more than 150% of the average rainfall in the July to December 2023 period. I’m satisfied that these weather events allow for the use of the force majeure option within the regulations and consequently farmers will be exempted for 2024 from the crop diversification obligations,” he said.