Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Negative Impact of 'Greener' CAP; One of the More Controversial Draft Proposals in the European Commission Draft Legislative Proposals for the Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Post 2013 Was the "Greening" Payment. ANDREW JAMIESON of H&H Land and Property, with Offices in Durham and Carlisle, Comments on the Future It Holds for the Agricultural Industry

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Negative Impact of 'Greener' CAP; One of the More Controversial Draft Proposals in the European Commission Draft Legislative Proposals for the Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Post 2013 Was the "Greening" Payment. ANDREW JAMIESON of H&H Land and Property, with Offices in Durham and Carlisle, Comments on the Future It Holds for the Agricultural Industry

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW JAMIESON

THE demand for a greener CAP has resulted in draft legislation which, if applied to UK farms, would result in a significantly negative impact on farm profitability and farm management practices.

When examined closely it would also have a detrimental effect on what is already a far greener and more environmentally advanced agriculture industry than many of our counterparts on the continent.

The draft proposals have caused much debate and the UK Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) have just published a report focusing specifically on the "greening" measures.

As a result of the European Commission (EC), council of ministers and the European Parliament reviewing the full draft proposals and the NFU and DEFRA both lobbying to ensure that the British farmer is heard in Europe, a number of redrafts have been suggested.

The EFRA committee has recommended that the proposals for crop diversification would not work in practice here in the UK as they would deliver a lesser environmental benefit than the current practice of rotational cropping within our arable farming.

They recommend that Defra seek to have this element removed from the reforms if possible, or have sufficient flexibility within the UK to prevent both our farmers and the environment being adversely effected.

The European Commission has recommended that farms with an area of 75% (or more) grassland should be exempt from the three crop requirement, thus allowing sheep farmers who historically grow a crop of roots for lambs to continue current practice or dairy farmers to grow maize as a forage crop.

We have already seen a significant number of farmers opting to plough out permanent pasture to ensure it is not included in the base figure for permanent pasture in 2014.

While it is accepted that farmers need the flexibility to continue with improving their holding by ploughing and re-seeding tired pasture, the current permanent pasture measures outlined do not in fact ensure that the most precious grassland is maintained and does not differentiate significantly between improved permanent pasture and unimproved semi natural. …

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