Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

Search

England: NFU welcomes Defra decision to included nitrogen fixing crops in CAP Ecological Focus Areas

PUBLISHED: 12:18 10 June 2014 | UPDATED: 14:30 10 June 2014

Slb_014 NFU water talk 1

Slb_014 NFU water talk 1

The National Farmers’ Union today welcomed a decision by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that planting nitrogen fixing crops such as peas and beans will count towards “greening” measures under new Common Agriculture Policy rules.

Defra has released further details on how the CAP will be implemented from 2015, including an announcement that limited landscape features will count towards the “Ecological Focus Areas” required under the new rules by farmers from 2015.

NFU president Meurig Raymond said that, at a time when farmers and growers were doing all they could to meet the increased food production challenge ahead, as well as minimise their impact on the environment, sensible decisions on land use were crucial.

“NFU members have been awaiting these critical announcements so they can plan for next year and while many will be disappointed that all landscape features won’t count from year one of the new CAP, there will be some relief that nitrogen fixing crops such as peas and beans will count,” he said.

“We have pressed hard on this and I am pleased to see that the Secretary of State Owen Paterson and his ministers have also made an important and pragmatic decision to include hedges in the range of options farmers can use to meet their Ecological Focus Area requirements in 2015 and not face restrictions on inputs.

“We have long-argued it is critical to have hedges included after years of counting towards agri-environment schemes, it would have been a real own-goal if they didn’t feature towards the new EFAs.

“Today’s news means more choice for farmers, less land taken out of food production as well as achieving a clear positive benefit for the environment.

“However, this is year one. For NFU members, our work on this continues as I know some will be bitterly disappointed that we haven’t got wider landscape features from 2015; for some, I believe that compliance under the new CAP will mean taking land out of production. T

“hat’s bad news for farmers, for the agri-food sector and for the UK economy. We already know that there will be a review of EFAs, but there also needs to be a review of crop diversification at the earliest opportunity and that’s something the NFU will continue to push for.

“I expect to see a wider array of landscape features on offer from 2016 onwards more landscape features must be phased in and EFAs must recognise the landscape features that farmers already have. That’s critical. We never wanted to see land taken out of production by this CAP deal and, let’s be clear, I don’t think anyone’s happy with the outcome. In the meantime, it is important that farmers who use hedges to meet their ‘greening’ obligation in 2015 understand that they face higher risks of inspection, delayed payment and possible penalties.”

Commuters on the A14 eastbound are facing delays after an accident near Newmarket involving two vehicles.

A cyber criminal from Colchester has admitted running a product testing service which allowed hackers to see whether their malicious software could beat anti-virus scanners.

What do you think when you hear the phrase “Essex girl”? - writes Lauren Hockney.

Fewer vulnerable people across the region will go hungry thanks to the opening of a new food distribution hub in Ipswich.

Essex County Council is set to put its element of tax bills up by almost 5% from April as it prepares for the day when financial help from the government ceases.

The University of Suffolk has announced Professor Helen Langton will succeed Richard Lister OBE as vice-chancellor this summer.

The amount paid out due to medical blunders at the region’s mental health trust has increased five-fold in five years, new figures reveal.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24