Greening rules: Farmers can plan harvest 2021 'with confidence'

The three-crop rule will be removed from BPS rules permanently in 2021
The three-crop rule will be removed from BPS rules permanently in 2021

Clarity over the removal of greening rules means farmers can plan next year's harvest with confidence, the NFU has said today.

Farmers will no longer be required to comply with complex rules around crop diversification, Ecological Focus Areas and greening permanent grassland.

It follows the government announcement of the removal of greening rules from the direct payments regime for 2021.

The change means 30% of the current overall BPS payment associated with these conditions will be reallocated to the BPS entitlements.



In March this year, NFU President Minette Batters welcomed a derogation for farmers in England from the greening three-crop rule after months of relentless heavy rain, waterlogging and flooding of fields leaving them unable to plant and establish crops for 2020.

This latest announcement means that the three-crop rule will be removed from BPS rules permanently in 2021.



The NFU has been working to clarify the position of greening for 2021. Following the announcement, the union has created a Q&A document, showing the information with regards to greening for the scheme year 2021.

BPS experts have also put together a briefing, highlighting the main greening rules for fallow land and ecological focus area (EFA) catch and cover crops.

NFU vice president, Tom Bradshaw said changes to greening rules must remove some of the complexities farmers faced in interacting with multiple scheme rules.

“We have always been concerned that this EU-legacy scheme has never been applied with the flexibility needed to suit varying weather and farming situations in Britain.

“I am hopeful that the changes to greening rules will remove some of the complexities farmers face in interacting with multiple scheme rules."

He added: “At the same time, I am confident that farmers will use experiences of greening to develop their existing approaches to land management."