4 Now for the Challenge of complying with: CAP Reform regulations.
5 IntroductionGreening requirements are a compulsory element of the CAP Reform and introduce practices that are beneficial to the environment and climate.From 2015, it will be mandatory for applicants to the Basic Payment Scheme to comply with greening requirements.
6 Basic Payment Scheme and Greening From 2015, the Single Farm Payment Scheme will be replaced by the Basic Payment Scheme, a Greening Payment and a Young Farmers’ Scheme.Thirty per cent of the money allocated to Northern Ireland for direct payments will be allocated to the greening payment.Farmers who comply with greening requirements will receive a greening payment calculated as a percentage of the total value of entitlements activated by them each year.
7 Greening There are three elements to greening: Permanent Grassland Crop DiversificationEcological Focus Areas (EFAs)Non-compliance with greening requirements will result in reductions to the Greening Payment. It is therefore important that farmers understand and comply with the greening requirements.
8 Definition of Permanent Grassland Land used to grow grasses or other herbaceous forage (this can be self-seeded or sown)Land that has not been used for an arable crop in the previous five years or more. In effect, this relates to six years (2015 and the previous 5 years (2010 – 2014).E.g. land declared as FR1 (grass) in 2015 which was also declared as FR1 in the previous five consecutive years (2010 – 2014) will be classified as permanent grassland.Permanent grassland ploughed and re-seeded immediately with grass or other herbaceous forage continues to be classified as permanent grassland.
9 Environmentally Sensitive Permanent Grassland There is also a requirement to designate permanent grassland in areas covered by:Natura 2000The Birds DirectiveThe Habitats Directive.Farmers will not be allowed to plough or convert permanent grassland in these areas.DARD will identify permanent grassland in these areas and will make this information available to the relevant farmers in advance of 2015.
10 Crop Diversification – Arable land Crop diversification requirements are applicable to arable land, they are not applicable to permanent grassland or permanent crops.Definition of arable land –use of land to grow crops other than grass, orchards, short rotational coppice, ornamentals and nurseries, forestry and multi-annual crops.Forage crops such as fodder beet, fodder rape, stubble turnips or any cereal crop used for forage (e.g. maize) are regarded as an arable crop use.Sainfoin, clover, lucerne and forage vetches are regarded in the same way as grass and therefore are not deemed to be an arable use..
11 Definition of arable land continued If your land will be used to grow an arable crop in 2015 or has grown an arable crop in any of the years 2010 – 2014, then it will be classified as arable in 2015.Land used to grow grass in 2015 but which has been used to grow an arable crop in any of the years will be classified as arable in 2015.Areas available for crop production but lying fallow, including areas set aside under EU schemes, will also be classed as arable land.There are some outstanding issues in relation to the classification of land lying fallow, further clarification will be provided later this year..
13 Definition of Permanent Crops Permanent crops are non-rotational crops other then permanent grassland that occupy the land for five years or more and yield repeated harvests.Examples of permanent crops are orchards, short rotational coppice, ornamentals and nurseries and multi-annual crops. Further examples of permanent crops are available on the DARD website.Later this year, DARD will classify fields as permanent grassland, arable or permanent crops and will make this information available to farmers.
14 Crop Diversification Exemptions Farmers will be exempt from crop diversification in the following circumstances:-Where they have less than 10 hectares of arable land;Where more than 75% of the arable land is used for the production of grasses (temporary grass) or other herbaceous forage, is land lying fallow, or a combination of these uses, provided their remaining arable area not covered by these uses does not exceed 30 hectares;3. Where more than 75% of the eligible agricultural area ispermanent grassland, is used for the production of grasses or otherherbaceous forage, or a combination of these uses, provided theirarable area not covered by these uses does not exceed 30 hectares;
15 Crop Diversification Exemptions (continued) 4. Where more than 50% of the areas under arable land were not declared by the farmer in his/her aid application of the previous year and where all arable land is being cultivated with a different crop compared to that of the previous calendar year. (The operation of this exemption in Northern Ireland is subject to further consideration by DARD; a decision on this will be made and publicised in due course). 5. Land certified as being organically farmed automatically qualifies for the greening payment but double funding (receiving the greening payment for doing the same thing) is not permitted. This exemption only applies to those fields which are organically farmed.
16 Crop Diversification - Requirements Crop Diversification – Summary of RequirementsArea of Arable LandNumber of Crops that must be grownFurther requirementsLess than 10 hectaresNo crop diversification requirementNot applicableBetween 10 and 30 hectaresFarmer must grow at least two different crops on his arable landThe main crop shall not cover more than 75% of the farmer’s arable landMore than 30 hectaresFarmer must grow at least three different crops on his arable landThe main crop shall not cover more than 75% of the farmer’s arable land and the two main crops together shall not cover more than 95% of his arable landIf close to the thresholds exercise caution!
17 Importance of checking requirements It is important that farmers actively check whether they have a crop diversification requirement e.g. dairy farmers who grow arable crops.Farmers taking land in conacre may not be aware of the history of the fields that they are renting.Farmers can check the history of the land use of these fields by checking what was declared in the ‘Eligible Use’ column in the Single Application Form Field Data Sheet (SAF 2) during the period
18 Crop Diversification – Definition of a crop For the purposes of crop diversification, a crop is defined in the EURegulations as any of the following:-a culture of any of the different genera defined in the botanical classification of crops;a culture of any of the species in the case of Brassicaceae (e.g.cabbage), Solanaceae (e.g.potato) and Cucurbitaceae (e.g. cucumber);land lying fallow;grass or other herbaceous forage (clovers, lucerne, sainfoin and forage vetches) on arable land (temporary grass).
19 Crop Diversification - Definition of a crop Winter and spring varieties of crops count as separate crops.Most crops grown in Northern Ireland will meet the definition of a crop outlined in the EU Regulations. The exceptions to this arepermanent grassland and permanent crops.Examples of suitable crops are available on the DARD website.The end use of the crop has no impact on how it is counted for the purposes of crop diversification. For example, if a farmer grows some winter wheat as whole crop and some for grain, this counts as one crop (winter wheat).
20 Definition of a crop - continued Individual crops which fall within a single genus or single species in the case of Brassicaceae, Solanaceae and Cucurbitaceae count as only one crop for the purposes of crop diversification.E.g. cabbage and cauliflower, these would count as only one crop because they fall within the same species (Brassica oleracea).The crop must be present (or its stubble/residue present in a form which enables the original crop to be identified) during the entire period of 1 June to 31 July each year.A seed mixture(s) will be recognised as one crop.Different seed mixtures will not be recognised as separate crops.
22 You will be familiar with the decline in bees and wild flowers The Great Yellow BumblebeeIrish Lady’s Tresses Orchid
23 Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) Farmers with more than 15 hectares of arable land must ensure that,from 1st January 2015, at least 5% of their arable land is used as anEFA. This may increase to 7% in 2017.Farmers will be exempt from the requirement to have EFAs in thefollowing circumstances:Where they have less than or equal to 15 hectares of arable land.Where more than 75% of the arable land is used for the productionof grasses (temporary grass) or other herbaceous forage, is land lying fallow, is used for cultivation of leguminous crops (peas, beans, sweet lupins) or is subject to a combination of those uses, provided that the arable area not covered by those uses does not exceed 30ha;
24 Ecological Focus Areas - Exemptions 3. More than 75% of the eligible agricultural area is permanent grassland, is used for the production of grasses or other herbaceous forage, or is subject to a combination of those uses, provided that the arable area not covered by these uses does not exceed 30 hectares. Land certified as being organically farmed automatically qualifies for the greening payment but double funding (receiving the greening payment for doing the same thing) is not permitted. This exemption only applies to those fields which are organically farmed.
25 Features and areas which can be used to meet EFA requirements The following features and areas which can be used as EFAs:Land lying fallow (clarification is being sought in relation to thedefinition of land lying fallow)Landscape features required to be retained under cross compliance(hedges, ditches, stone walls, archaeological features andearth banks (does not include river banks)Areas of agro-forestry (supported under past or current RDP)Areas with short rotation coppice with no use of mineral fertiliserand no use of plant protection products beyond the second growingseason post planting – max harvest 5 yearsAfforested areas which were used and eligible to claim SFP in 2008 Areas with nitrogen fixing crops (peas, beans and sweet lupins)
26 Location of EFAs EFA Feature Location Land lying fallow Agro-forestry Nitrogen fixing cropsMust be located on the arable land of the holdingHedges, ditches, stone wallsEarth banksArchaeological featuresMust be located on or adjacent to the arable land of the holding(Adjacent is thought to mean physically touching a field of agricultural land on the longest edge of the relevant EFA)Eligible afforested areasShort rotation coppiceNo requirement to be on or adjacent to the arable land of the holding
27 Ecological Focus Area Conversion Matrix EFA type(unit of measurement)Conversion factor(m to m2)Weighting factorArea (m2) of EFA (i.e. after application of both factors )Land lying fallow (per 1m2)N/A11m2Hedges (per 1m)5210m2Ditches (per 1m)36m2Traditional stone walls (per 1m)Archaeological features (per 1m2)Earth banks (per 1m2)Hectares of agro-forestry (per 1m2)Areas with short rotation coppice (per 1m2)0.30.3m2Afforested areas (per 1m2)Areas with nitrogen fixing crops (per 1m2)0.7*0.7m2* To be confirmed by EC in legislationExercise caution when calculating EFAs
28 Ecological Focus Area Conversion Matrix The conversion matrix converts the lengths/areas according to theirecological values. For example, every linear metre of eligible hedgecan provide 10 m2 of EFA.When calculating whether you meet the 5% EFA requirement, youshould exercise caution if you are very close to the 5%.Clarification being soughtWhat constitutes a hedgeDefinition of land lying fallow
29 Ecological Focus Areas Ecological focus areas must be at the disposal of the famer. If theEFA is in the field declared by the farmer, the entire EFA is at thefarmer’s disposal. However, if the EFA is on the boundary of thefield, the position is less clear.Clarification is required on:How boundary features are to be treated. E.g. A hedge between twoarable fields at the disposal of two different farmers.If it was agreed that boundary features could be 50:50, farmerswould only be able to use 50% of the converted area of the hedge.However, if located between two arable fields declared by the samefarmer, 100% of the converted area could be used.
30 Greening PaymentThe greening payment will be calculated as a percentage of the total value of entitlements activated by claimants each year. Therefore, over time, the value of the greening payment per hectare will move towards a flat rate payment at the same pace as the movement of the Basic Payment.For the first two scheme years (2015 and 2016), sanctions for non-compliance with greening requirements will result in a reduction in the greening payment which may be substantial. From 2017, additional penalties will be applied.It is important that you check whether you have a greening requirement and that you comply fully with the requirements.
31 Greening on online Single Application CROP DIVERSIFICATIONThe online application will calculate, based on the fields you have declared, if you have a Crop Diversification requirement and advise whether you have met it.It will display the area and percentage for the main crops you have grown, which will show you how close you are in relation to meeting the Crop Diversification requirements.
32 Greening on online Single Application ECOLOGICAL FOCUS AREAS (EFAs)The online application will calculate, based on the fields you have declared, if you have an EFA requirement and state the area of EFAs required to satisfy that requirement.DARD are currently considering the online options to permit you to then declare which EFAs you have for that scheme year and the intention is that the system will advise you when you have declared sufficient EFAs to meet your requirement.
33 Impact of Greening on Agri-Environment Agreements Agreements signed before 2012No Greening impact. DARD is considering whether agreements need adjusted to take account of new Cross-Compliance requirements.NICMS agreements signed from 1 January 2012 onwardAgreements contain a revision clause. Greening must be taken into account, and NICMS payments may be reduced to avoid double-funding. Agreements must be adjusted to meet new Cross-Compliance requirements.
34 Impact of Greening on Agri-Environment Agreements New Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) AgreementsGreening must be taken into account, and EFS payments may be reduced to avoid double-funding.Agreements must meet new Cross-Compliance requirements.
37 Summary Arable area < 10 ha No change Arable area 10 – 15 ha Crop Diversification (2 different crop types)Arable area >15 -30ha Ecological Focus area (5% arable area)Crop Diversification (2 different crop types)Arable area > 30 ha Ecological Focus area (5% arable area)Crop Diversification ( 3 different crop types)2 crop types: Main crop - max 75% arable area3 crop types: Main crop - max 75% arable area, Main two crops -max 95% arable area(Exemptions granted under specific conditions - Caution)
38 Further informationFurther information on CAP reform is available on the DARD website on If you have a specific query you can call the DARD Grants and Funding Helpline number : Or send an to the DARD Helpline address: