FARMERS who claim under the environmental stewardship and single
payment schemes are responsible for complying with the conditions
of the schemes by meeting cross compliance requirements. If
they are found to be in breach of any these requirements, their
payments could be affected.
Graeme Bruce from Alnwick-based Youngs Chartered Surveyors explains: “You
must keep your land in Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition
(GAEC) and comply with a number of specified legal requirements,
known as Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs), relating to
environment, public, animal and plant health. Three
further directives have been added to the cross compliance rules
for 2007 but they are based on current legislation and chiefly
relate to animal welfare.
“Inspections are carried out
to ensure that applicants have met the cross compliance requirements. Farmers
will receive 24 to 48 hours' notice of visits.
“There are a number of common
problem areas, including animal identification and tracing and care of field
“It is also important to remember that your management plan must be in
place within the first 12 months of the agreement start date, and should be reviewed
at least once a year thereafter,” says Mr Bruce
“All areas claimed
in your agreement will be measured during an inspection and it is advisable to
leave a tolerance against the areas stated on your application. Over
grazing and muddy gateways could also be a cross compliance issue.
must ensure you exactly match any set-aside contracts for non-food
crops with your set-aside entitlements, and use any national reserve
entitlements every year for the first five years of the scheme,
or you will lose the National Reserve element of them.
Bruce warns: “Your direct payment scheme subsidies
may be reduced if you are in breach of cross compliance requirements.”
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