The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has announced a derogation to relax some of the Ecological Focus Area (EFA) rules to increase the availability of fodder. This specifically applies to EFA cover crops only. The derogation is expected to come into force by 30 September.
The full announcement and conditions that need to be met to apply for this derogation, can be found on the Gov.uk website here.
This derogation is in addition to the guidance published on 31 July 2018 and the temporary prescription adjustments to some Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship options. You can find more information on this here.
NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts said:
“This move from the government is welcome news and I’m pleased to see that it has acted on the NFU’s calls in this area. It will provide relief for farmers but it is frustrating the move has not happened sooner.
“The impact of this year’s weather will undoubtedly continue into the winter for many farmers as feed supplies run thin so it is vital there is continued flexibility from government. The NFU is urging the government to ensure that BPS and agri-environment payments are paid promptly and that bridging payments are delivered for those who are not paid on time.”