Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

Newmarket: Don’t leave CAP plans too late, farmers warned

13:18 18 June 2014

Julie Robinson, Guy Smith, Phil Bicknell and Elizabeth Ranelagh at the CAP reform meeting at Newmarket on Monday, June 16.

Julie Robinson, Guy Smith, Phil Bicknell and Elizabeth Ranelagh at the CAP reform meeting at Newmarket on Monday, June 16.

Archant

East Anglian farmers were warned to start planning early on new subsidy rules which come into force next year when they met this week.

shares
NFU Chief Economist Phil Bicknell speaking at Newmarket Racecourse.NFU Chief Economist Phil Bicknell speaking at Newmarket Racecourse.

Hundreds of farmers packed into Newmarket Racecourse on Monday night to find out how new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) rules will affect their farm businesses.

About 300 farmers came to hear from the very latest on regulations which will change the way many businesses operate in the East of England.

The new rules include requirements for most farmers to grow a minimum of three crops on their land and to designate five percent of their arable land as an ecological focus area.

And though clarification is still needed on certain aspects of the new regime, the message from the meeting was: “Don’t leave it too late to plan for CAP 2015.”

National Farmers’ Union (NFU) vice-president Guy Smith, who chaired the meeting, said one major change was the switch to online-only applications from next year.

“If there’s one word of advice it’s start early and get adjusted to the new system well in advance of the 15 May cut-off date. Don’t leave this to the last minute. It’s going to be a challenge and not one to be under-estimated,” he said.

The meeting was organised jointly by NFU East Anglia and solicitors Roythornes, with a panel comprising NFU chief economist Phil Bicknell, Elizabeth Ranelagh from the Campaign for the Farmed Environment and Roythornes’ partner Julie Robinson.

Mr Bicknell outlined the rules regarding the new Basic Payment Scheme, including eligibility, entitlements and greening. He said there had been a lot of uncertainty around greening, and some misunderstandings, but it was mandatory with financial penalties for non-compliance.

He urged farmers to check regularly for guidance on the NFU and Defra websites and to identify any potential issues with their cropping plans for 2015.

Elizabeth Ranelagh said the greening requirements would not change in the short-term and they should be seen as an opportunity to improve farm biodiversity.

“They are not ideal and some will see them as a step backwards but we do face the possibility of something worse if we don’t make greening work. Efforts to help all pollinators, not just bees, are a crucial part of this,” she said.

“About 30% of food globally relies on pollinating insects so this is an incredibly important matter.”

Julie Robinson said one consequence of the new system would be the need for more formal agreements, for example where a farmer rented land from another farmer to grow carrots or potatoes. She said it meant that the traditional handshake could be a thing of the past.

The panel spent an hour answering members’ questions about the new scheme. Mr Bicknell said that the NFU will also be organising further CAP roadshows in October and November to help members plan for the new system.

shares
EEAST director Matt Broad

Ambulance response times in east Suffolk must now become consistently good following recent improvement.

Speed restrictions on the A12 for resurfacing

Newly-elected South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge is to meet Highways England engineers beside the A12 in his constituency next Friday to hear why the work has been delayed for a second time.

Essex Police last year searched the area near Scarfe Way in the investigation into the murder of Nahid Almanea.

The teenager from Colchester, initially arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in the Salary Brook Trail on Tuesday was charged this evening.

Travellers on St Andrew's long stay car park, Bury St Edmunds.

The group of travellers have been told to leave by St Edmundsbury Borough Council or be taken to High Court.

Abellio Greater Anglia train.

The Greater Anglia services are being replaced by buses.

A large hole has appeared in the ground at the back of Holland and Barrett and Parkyns in Stowmarket.

Mystery surrounds the appearance of a six foot hole behind a shop in Stowmarket.

Sizewell A and B

A study is to be carried out around the Sizewell nuclear power stations site to investigate whether people eating food produced in the area or spending time there are vulnerable to radioactivity.

Thomson Airways' new Boeing 787 Dreamliner touching down at Stansted.

Stansted Airport today marked the arrival of the latest in airline technology with the launch of a new long-haul service from the Essex terminal.

Heavy farme equipment is load on to a low loader during the Suffolk Show clear up at Trinity Park

How do you follow-up the most successful Suffolk Show for years? With an epic Suffolk Show clean-up operation.

East House on George Street in Hadleigh.

A public inquiry is opening today in Hadleigh to decide the future of a popular park.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages