Environment Minister George Eustice has said there will be a blanket relaxation of the three crop rule for farmers due to widespread to flooding.
The three-crop rule, officially referred to as the Greening Crop Diversification requirement, states each year farmers claiming BPS and managing more than 30 hectares of arable land are required to grow at least three different crops on that land. Farmers with smaller holdings are also subject to crop diversification requirements.
However, with large swathes of farmland having been under water in recent months, the Government said it is working to widen the rule for all farmers in 2020. The three-crop rule is not practical in extreme weather events when farmers need to plan their spring cropping.
The Environment Minister said “all farmers would be notified when the three-crop rule has been amended and approved by Parliament.”
It also announced a further extension of the £6m Farming Recovery Fund which is available to those affected by flooding in parts of East and North Yorkshire along with other badly hit areas of the country.
Under the fund, affected farmers in eligible areas can claim for grants between £500 and £25,000 to cover a number of un-insurable repair costs such as the re-cultivation of farmland, including re-seeding, replanting cover crops and alleviating soil compaction.
Mr Eustice said “The Rural Payments Agency is working tirelessly to ensure farmers have access to all the guidance they need and we are exploring all options to ensure the right support is available in the coming weeks and months.”