This month's comment on what’s hot in agriculture

Topical Comment

Topical comment

David Bolton Partners is disappointed to read of the coming loss of Meurig Raymond – current NFU President – given the efforts he has been successfully making during the Brexit negotiations thus far. A copy of his resignation letter follows below in full.

 

 

Worshipful Company of Farmers : Installation Lunch 10 October 2017


On 10 October Julian Sayers was installed as the 66th Master of the Company following in the footsteps of Philip Wynn. The installation, which was held at the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great in Smithfield, was preceded by the service of Harvest Thanksgiving. The ceremony of installing the new Master included the appointment of Rosie Carne as Senior Warden and David Bolton as Junior Warden for the coming year.

 

 

Agricultural Attache Derbenskiy took part in the Worshipful Company of Farmers' annual event


On 17 January 2017 the Agricultural Attaché of the Russian Embassy Vladimir Derbenskiy took part at the Worshipful Company of Farmers' annual event.
He met the leaders of the Worshipful Company of Farmers and representatives of British agricultural Unions and Associations to discuss the development of cooperation between Russian and British farmers and agro-businesses.

 

 

Defra's latest basic payment scheme news

Go to GOV.UK to access all the 40 page detail. Key points include...
 

  1. SPS transfer date is delayed from 19 to 21 October - or from mid-January 2015 until April/May 2015.
  2. Entitlement values are reported at around £165 per unit (plus VAT). They may rise to over £200 and then sink back through March 2015. The non-SDA value could be around £190 per hectare per annum but will be subject to exchange rate fluctuations and other influences.
  3. Pick a moment and register with the on-line Information Service. You will need it for making claims under BPS and future Grants. You are promised massive amounts of help (mentioned eight times on two pages of the Bulletin!)
  4. Further details remain to come on the topic of "Active Farmer", but this does not look threatening.
  5. The cropping period within which inspections for the two or three crop rule will be between 1 May and 30 June - but note where crops are harvested during this period evidence may be needed of what was there. Photographs, seed labels or similar. You are reminded to read the small print.
  6. The definition of Winter and Spring crops and varieties is clearer. It's based upon the National List and the PGRO recommendations. It defaults to a Spring decision in the event of any lack of clarity from this direction.
  7. Ecological Focus Areas: more information is needed on hedges, which should arrive by October/November. Nevertheless a warning is given that using hedges as an EFA contributor in 2015 will delay payments as DEFRA will probably seek to inspect every one that is declared to check its correctness and eligibility!

Go to GOV.UK to access all the 40 page detail. Key points include:
 

  1. SPS transfer date is delayed from 19 to 21 October - or from mid-January 2015 until April/May 2015.
  2. Entitlement values are reported at around £165 per unit (plus VAT). They may rise to over £200 and then sink back through March 2015. The non-SDA value could be around £190 per hectare per annum but will be subject to exchange rate fluctuations and other influences.
  3. Pick a moment and register with the on-line Information Service. You will need it for making claims under BPS and future Grants. You are promised massive amounts of help (mentioned eight times on two pages of the Bulletin!)
  4. Further details remain to come on the topic of "Active Farmer", but this does not look threatening.
  5. The cropping period within which inspections for the two or three crop rule will be between 1 May and 30 June - but note where crops are harvested during this period evidence may be needed of what was there. Photographs, seed labels or similar. You are reminded to read the small print.
  6. The definition of Winter and Spring crops and varieties is clearer. It's based upon the National List and the PGRO recommendations. It defaults to a Spring decision in the event of any lack of clarity from this direction.
  7. Ecological Focus Areas: more information is needed on hedges, which should arrive by October/November. Nevertheless a warning is given that using hedges as an EFA contributor in 2015 will delay payments as DEFRA will probably seek to inspect every one that is declared to check its correctness and eligibility!
  8. DEFRA and the Commission continue to argue about hedges where one side is a ditch or road, or another owner, or not arable. The elegant question of gaps in hedges also has to be tackled.
  9. Buffer Strips need to be next to water courses, or parallel to them. They need a minimum 1 metre width. The same strip can meet both the greening and the cross compliance rules.
  10. The minimum areas for nitrogen fixing crops, catching cover crops and fallow is 0.01 hectare (120 square yards approximately).
  11. Fallow land needs to be at least 2 metres wide for the period 1 January to 30 June in the claim year. You may not sow grass during this period but wild bird seed and nectar mixes can.
  12. No hedges and trees can now be cut between 1 March and 31 August.
  13. Dual use will be further clarified later but signals seem to be that the Tenant will need to include the land when calculating his greening requirement and the Landlord may not do so.
  14. The maximum to be lost from failing the greening rules will be 30% of the total BPS. The degree of penalty will depend upon the level of infringement and it does not seem that a single infringement will defeat the whole 30%. Inspections are likely to be far more frequent because DEFRA lives in fear of EU fines.


For further information do contact DBP and do not miss David Bolton's comments in Farmers Weekly of 15 August (page 7). - EDITED

Topical comment

Unit 1 Manor Farm
The Street
Bridgham
Norfolk
NR16 2RX

Thanks to Farmers Weekly for the use of certain images and also to David Boughey Photography.

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