19 April 2015 | Online since 2003

5 May 2014|Arable,Cereal,Crops,News,NFU

Union backs Defra on Three Crop rule challenge

NFU Scotland has given its full support to Defra plans to tackle Europe over the damaging crop diversification element of new CAP Reform requirements.

Following its meeting with Defra Secretary of State Owen Paterson in Edinburgh last week, the Union has prepared a briefing on the impact of the so called ‘three crop rule’ in Scotland and submitted it to the Minister to support his effort for this greening measure to be reviewed.

NFUS has consistently argued against crop diversification as being suitable or appropriate for Scotland.

A primary reason for its inclusion in the greening requirements of the reform package was as a means of combating monoculture – an issue in some regions of the EU – but certainly not Scotland.

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said: “We have consistently highlighted the damage that crop diversification requirements could wreak on arable production here in Scotland and we fully support the Secretary of State in his efforts to have this nonsensical element of CAP reform reviewed at the earliest opportunity.

“Its impact will be considerable. The ‘three crop rule’ proposed by Europe will force Scottish growers away from established markets like malting barley and, instead of being market-focussed in the crops they grow, look to plant other crops simply to secure the greening element of the support available.

“Many environmentalists agree that the three crop requirement, when compared to more traditional crop rotations, will fail to deliver benefits and will not add diversity to an already mixed landscape.

“For Scotland, weather pressures at harvest and during sowing periods are another factor which often dictates what crops our growers can produce. In the northern and more upland parts of Scotland, crop choice is limited with spring barley at the core of production – underpinning our World-famous whisky industry.

“These specialist malting barley growers add significant value to the economy and the ecology of Scotland and for European rules to force them into growing other crops is a nonsense.”

A delegation of Union officials pushed for more CAP implementation detail during a private meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP this morning.

Meeting in Inverurie, NFU Scotland’s President, Nigel Miller; Chief Executive, Scott Walker; and Director of Policy, Jonnie Hall, discussed the Scottish Government’s final implementation plans for the delivery of direct support (Pillar 1) and rural development (Pillar 2) from 1 January 2015.

Whilst the Scottish Government has committed itself to finalising a delivery plan next month, NFU Scotland has warned that detailed decisions should not be rushed through to the detriment of active farmers and crofters. Through discussions with the Cabinet Secretary and his officials, the delegation highlighted that an urgent resolution must be found to support producers operating within the rough grazing region (RGR) – which could be close to three million hectares in size.

NFU Scotland has for some time suggested that a flat-rate payment across the RGR could potentially decimate a number of genuinely active businesses whilst redirecting money to non-active units and opening up a new generation of ‘slipper farmers’.

The delegation discussed the matter with the Cabinet Secretary, stating that the problem will be combatted by the Scottish Government recognising the hugely diverse nature of the region and enforcing a robust activity requirement to ensure genuinely active farmers are rewarded, as well as a safety net for those active farmers falling below this level.

NFU Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to providing eight per cent coupled support for the beef sector, and the delegation also discussed the mechanics of the future beef calf scheme. Turning to the non-RGR land, the delegation set down a marker that Scotland must push arable and grassland payments towards parity with the other constituent parts of the UK.

President of NFU Scotland, Nigel Miller, said: “It was good to have the opportunity to discuss the detail with the Cabinet Secretary this morning. As we move into the end game we need to stay focused and prioritise outcomes despite CAP fatigue.

“NFU Scotland maintains that the outcomes must reward active producers; avoid damaging redistribution of support and must not drag new money into the hills from low ground regions where budgets are already cut. We are keen that a positive outcome is secured through our ongoing dialogue with Cabinet Secretary Lochhead and his officials.”



No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.


16 April 2015
Private Client and Agriculture Solicitor
Private Client and Agriculture Solicitor (5 years PQE and above) - Spalding. Are you a senior level private client and agricu...

17 April 2015
Head of HR
Our mission is to improve people's lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve proble...

17 April 2015
Night Shift Worker
Full Time Night Shift Worker required Prep veg. Between 40 - 50 hours per week over 6 days. Contact 01772 865190 Please leave...

17 April 2015
Herdsperson / Farm Worker
Must be capable of operating all types of farm machinery and have good all round experience in general maintenance work. Full...

1 April 2015
Assistant Herdsperson
In return for your efforts we offer a competitive salary with bonus schemes, regular time off and 3 bed family house close to...

Related Companies

Top stories you may have missed
10 April 2015 | Agri Safety

Final phase of Scotland's war on BVD

The permanent eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea [BVD] in Scottish cattl...

10 April 2015 | Dairy

Dairy farmers competitiveness will be te...

The abolition of milk quotas in Europe on 1st April has resulted in a numbe...

10 April 2015 | Cattle

EU milk sector growth 'dependent on expo...

The top 14 milk producing countries in Europe will increase their productio...

10 April 2015 | News

Could the rural vote hold the key to the...

Matt Ware is the NFU's head of government and parliamentary affairs, based ...

10 April 2015 | Arable

Action needed to boost farmgate prices i...

There is a 'desperate need' to improve farmgate returns given low incomes a...

9 April 2015 | Arable

OSR damage risks early Sclerotinia infec...

Rapid stem extension, after a slow start to spring, is likely to create spl...

9 April 2015 | Finance

Time for a farm rent revolution?

The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...

8 April 2015 | Cattle

Cogent strengthens reputation for high c...

Cogent’s reputation as a source of the highest calibre sires has been enhan...

8 April 2015 | Arable

Exotic plant fungus a 'serious threat to...

The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting...

7 April 2015 | Animal Health

Share information to tackle food fraud, ...

The FSA’s new Food Crime Unit wants the industry to share information, some...