The weather is relentless at present. Tillage farmers have basically no spring crops planted and have less winter crops in than usual.

However, if work cannot be done in the fields, then the focus must turn to planning and looking at options to lighten the load.

Having a good crop rotation in place will help to improve soil health, and also help in dividing the workload as different crops will require work at different times.

The crop diversification requirements, or two- and three-crop rule requirements, under CAP no longer apply for the 2024 season, but farmers should remember that the crop rotation requirement required over four years of the CAP will still apply.


These rules, which are part of conditionality under CAP, mean that you must grow at least two crops in a parcel in a four-year period. If you do not comply, then you may be subject to a penalty.

This means that if, for example, you have spring barley in a field in 2023, 2024 and 2025, you need a different crop in that field in 2026.

Most farmers should be able to manage this as they will have a rotation in place. However, it is something you need to be careful with as it is on a parcel basis. Some farmers may have parcels growing the same crop due to land conditions, distance from the farm and many other reasons.

The first year of the CAP was 2023 so you have until 2026 to complete the task, but you should not leave it until the final year to organise this requirement or your rotation may be affected.

Some farmers do not need to comply

Farmers with under 10ha of tillage do not need to comply with crop diversification or crop rotation requirements.

Farmers with between 10ha and 50ha of tillage crops, and who have half of that land in barley, do not need to comply with this requirement either.